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News and views 05
Birmingham goes green
Cities take the lead in shrinking built environment CO2 , says the UK-GBC’s Julie Hirigoyen. CO2 reduction target in jeopardy Industry not yet “de-carbonising”, Routemap update report reveals. CIOB boosts training provision New and expanded range of courses includes a subsidised course on Level 2 BIM. Student team entries sought The CIOB is inviting undergraduate teams to enter its third annual Global Student Challenge. Plus Chris Blythe looks ahead to a contradictory 2016. Feedback Letters, comments and readers’ views on clients’ adoption of behavioural assessment.
Thinking out of the box
Pharmaceuticals giant GSK’s flatpack-style factory can be delivered in shipping containers to be built by unskilled workers. Peer-to-peer pressure Where mainstream banks remain cautious to lend, construction firms are turning towards alternative sources of finance. Cover Story Oxford masters Laing O’Rourke overcame a series of complex challenges in the construction of the university’s Blavatnik School of Government. CPD: Behavioural assessment in procurement Behavioural assessment is increasingly used to create cohesive project teams but clients need a structured legal approach. Project of the month Design Technology block, St James School, Ashford, Kent.
Breaking the chains
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 asks managers to take responsibility for cleaning up their supply chain, says the CIOB’s Chris Blythe. BIM bytes Will the Common Data Environment change our attitudes to sharing information about buildings? Determination is the key For a speedy and successful expert determination, the expert’s powers must be agreed at the outset. Building long-term relationships Fostering a corporate culture of trust and good communication is the most effective way to prevent legal fees in a dispute.
40-51 All the latest news and reports from CIOB members and branches
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NEWS • PEOPLE • PROJECTS • TECHNOLOGY • MANAGEMENT • EDUCATION • CPD • JOBS
Cities can be our ‘lens for sustainable agenda’ The chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, the sustainability organisation for the industry’s supply chain and clients, believes that city-led retrofit and energy initiatives could be one of the defining features of the built environment green agenda in the coming years. Julie Hirigoyen was speaking to Construction Manager ahead of the organisation’s Birmingham Summit on 2324 February, where 100 public and private sector decision makers from the city and other parts of the country will debate the future of sustainable cities. The summit follows a similar event in Manchester last year, and Hirigoyen says that it marks a shift towards seeing cities - rather than regions, or nations - as the organising principle on retrofit, renewable energy and “smart cities”. It also follows the devolution of powers away from Westminster to “city regions”. Six devolution deals are already in place in England, including one for Birmingham and the West Midlands agreed last November. “We’re gearing up our activities with cities in line with the devolution agenda. This scale provides a better lens to think about sustainability. It’s difficult to achieve a really sustainable outcome when you’re working on one building plot, you need a system level approach,” Hirigoyen said. However, she emphasised that city-level initiatives would complement, rather than replace, national policy, such as the outcome of the forthcoming Bonfield Review. “The retrofit agenda needs to be addressed through both national policy and city wide schemes. But city level
UK Green Building Council chief executive says devolution could be driver behind future green initiatives
Birmingham: taking a city-wide view
authorities and the scale of the city certainly offers an opportunity to think about the housing retrofit challenge.” The possible new emphasis in the sustainability agenda follows the failure of the Green Deal, the key policy initiative designed to cut emissions from the UK’s domestic building stock, and the scaling back of incentives on renewable energy. But the COP 21 Paris Agreement renewed the focus on the built environment, with the UK-GBC, the World Green Building Council, the RICS and others launching a Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, with a shared mission to build greater climate resilience into cities and infrastructure. The alliance was initiated by the French government and the UN’s Environment Programme. At COP 21, the UK-GBC also launched its own commitments to reduce its operational
“It’s difficult to achieve a really sustainable outcome on one building plot, you need a system-level approach”
emissions and to “upskill the industry and support and challenge our members.” And 60 member companies made carboncutting commitments on the UK-GBC “pledge wall”, including The Crown Estate, Marks & Spencer, British Land, LendLease, Land Securities, Derwent and Argent. Hirigoyen said: “We will be certainly trying to track members’ progress against the pledges. Organisations tend to measure things slightly differently, but regardless of what they measure, we’ll be looking at the trends over time.” A member of the Green Construction Board, Hirigoyen said that its various working groups are currently drafting detailed action plans. “We’re very keen to inject more action and have a more outcome-oriented group. And BIM clearly has the potential to make that carbon information more accessible,” she said.
Contractors get the bug for sharing examples of best practice The online Best Practice Hub from the Considerate Constructors Scheme is celebrating its first 12 months of operation, informing the industry about everything from bug hotels to occupational health. The Hub is a free online resource for the industry to share good practice by showcasing examples, innovations and case studies that are uploaded by contractors to spread the word on their good ideas. More than 1,100 examples of best practice have been uploaded so far, with companies topping the league table of contributors including: Bouygues UK, Jerram Falkus Construction, Kier Group, Mace,
Mick George, Skanska, the Berkeley Group and Wates. Kier Group’s director of group corporate responsibility, Alan Smith, said: “We are pleased to be one of the top contributors to this brilliant hub. It is in every contractor’s best interest to share their innovative examples for improving the image and reputation of our industry among the public and customers alike. “The best practice examples Kier project teams have loaded into the Hub to date clearly demonstrate the breadth and simplicity of being considerate — from green travel plans and bug hotels to health and well-being toolbox talks and restroom posters.” CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 5
C02 reduction target in jeopardy Arup report shows decline in emissions to 2009 has now reversed The target of reducing built environment carbon emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2025 set out in Construction 2025 is slipping out of reach, a new report written by consultant Arup and commissioned by the Green Construction Board has revealed. The 2015 Routemap Progress: Technical Report revealed that a steady decline in emissions up to 2009 has reversed — leaving a wider gap to bridge than in 2009. Annual emissions linked to the built environment in the UK in 2012 were 11% lower than 1990 levels, while in 2009 emissions were 17% lower. The report says: “There has been a growing divergence occurring over just a few years (2009 through 2013). Given the steepness of the trajectory required to meet the ambition for built environment carbon reductions (and statutory targets for the UK as a whole), a significant transformation from the ongoing ‘status quo’ trajectory is needed.” The report updates the Low Carbon Routemap for the Built Environment, the 2013 report by the Green Construction Board, which maps out how the overarching government target of an 80% cut in UK emissions could be matched in the built environment. The routemap and the update analyse both annual emissions from heating and lighting the entire UK domestic and commercial building stock, plus an annual measure of “capital carbon”. This includes embedded carbon from the materials used in new buildings, refurbishments and infrastructure built each year, as well as the carbon footprint of the industry’s own processes and transport emissions. The bulk of the emissions lie in heating and lighting existing buildings — failure to make a dent in these totals is widely linked with the failure of the Green Deal and is largely outside the control of the industry. But the report also shows little progress has been made in reducing the latter category of “capital carbon”. The report shows that a sharp decrease in capital carbon in 2008-9 was driven by the slowdown in construction activity,
“Things are becoming more efficient, but there isn’t the step change that would be required” Heleni Pantelidou, Arup
and that a corresponding increase took hold in 2009-12 once output picked up. In other words, the drive to de-carbonise the industry has had little effect. The report says: “The data provides no evidence of a trend driven by efficiencies or process improvements in design, manufacturing or the supply chain.” John Alker, head of policy at the UK Green Building Council, commented: “It’s commensurate with a growth in activity in the sector, and shows that economic output and carbon output have not been decoupled.” According to Arup associate Heleni Pantelidou, a member of the advisory team on the report, the research also shows no decrease in carbon emissions when normalised against the ONS construction output figures, or “carbon intensity”. “There is no indication that carbon intensity has changed. There hasn’t been a step change in practice in construction and building. Things are becoming more efficient, but there isn’t the step change that would be required.” Responding to the report, GCB chairman and Skanska chief executive Mike Putnam said: “The industry needs to show leadership and commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and through doing so can also reduce its costs. Bodies such as the Construction Leadership Council’s Green Construction Board, which I chair, help bring the industry together to rise to this challenge.”
1990 Baseline Emissions, MtCO2e
2009 Emissions, MtCO2e and % reduction vs.1990
2012 Emissions, MtCO2e and % reduction vs.1990
Operational Carbon: Domestic (buildings)
Operational Carbon: Nondomestic (buildings)
Operational Carbon: Infrastructure
Total Operational Carbon
Capital Carbon: Domestic
Capital Carbon: Non-domestic Capital Carbon: Infrastructure -
Total Capital Carbon
Opinion: we can deliver on COP21 Paris goals The Paris Agreement on climate change is a historic achievement for humanity and for the building sector, writes Dr Peter Graham. We now have a common, legally binding agreement to hold global warming well below 2 deg C with aspiration to achieve 1.5 deg C, integrated with frameworks for action on resilience and adaptation. And for the first time the buildings and construction sector, which is responsible for about 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, 50% of global wealth, and provision of urban habitat for more than 60% of humanity, has been given a mandate and global framework for helping to achieve these goals. There are at least four key elements of the Paris Agreement that offer critical opportunities for the sector. First is the need to raise the level of national ambition, the second is in the need for urgent and ambitious action before 2020, and the third is acknowledgment of cities, civil society and the private sector as critical for driving greater ambition. Fourth, a Global Alliance was initiated by 20 nations to mobilise the sector’s technology, finance, and policy expertise and sustainable building experience. The building sector can contribute to global emissions peaking by 2030 if policy and market strategies that “mainstream” net-zero emissions buildings and value chains, integrate renewable energies, and enable deep energy efficiency retrofitting, are quickly adopted. There is a need for urgent intervention to achieve net-zero new buildings in rapidly urbanising markets such as China and India. And the energy efficiency of existing buildings in developed economies such as Europe and the US needs to improve by at least a factor of four. This historic agreement provides our sector with a true global mandate and venue for ambitious coordinated climate action. However, if we fail to set the right course in the building sector, then it is unlikely we will achieve these goals. The Paris Agreement is the hard-fought outcome of many years of relentless work. Now we have finally arrived at the true beginning of our greatest challenge — turning these inspiring words into action. Dr Peter Graham is executive director of the Global Buildings Performance Network. Read the full version of this article at www.construction-manager.co.uk
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CIOB boosts training provision to include new courses on BIM and commercial skills The CIOB is launching a new and expanded range of training courses for members, with training offered by CIOB staff, independent organisations such as BRE and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and commercial training providers. Many courses will be held at the CIOB’s new London office in Kingsway, Holborn, which includes a suite of training rooms. The courses are detailed in a new publication, the Training and Development Directory 2016 (pictured right). “We are offering high-quality interactive training, with 12 to 15 delegates per course. Some training will be offered directly through the CIOB,
The full range of courses features a group on sustainability and building performance
such as training around the [forthcoming] new edition of the CIOB Code of Estimating Practice, and some are from other providers offering CIOB members a discounted rate,” explained CIOB commercial director Jacqueline Balian. The new range features a two-day CIOB-subsidised course on Level 2 BIM delivered by Turner +Townsend. Delivering Construction Performance through BIM is available for £149 plus VAT. The CIOB says that the BIM course, also available as five evenings across two weeks, was developed to “help the industry demonstrate that it has a broad sweep of key staff able to use BIM techniques and that it can meet the requirements of government prequalification questionnaires which will demand BIM capabilities from April 2016.” All courses have dual pricing for CIOB and non-CIOB members, and a “season ticket” is available that allows employers purchasing multiple delegate places to reduce costs. The discounted BIM training course is not included in this offer. Several courses have been devised specifically for CIOB members, including courses on “what construction managers need to know” to make cost-effective decisions on VAT and tax. The catalogue of courses features a section on sustainability and building performance, including: low and zero carbon technologies; site sustainability; energy efficiency; and building physics for managers of multi-disciplinary projects.
The BRE Academy is also offering three courses on BREEAM, tailored to construction and project managers. These cover BREEAM awareness training, as well as an online introductory course and an online masterclass course. Further training focuses on commercial skills, including negotiation skills for project managers, and communication and report writing for construction managers. A course on responsible sourcing is led by CM contributor Ian Nicholson. Contract and project management is another theme, with courses on supply chain management and Lean Construction, while the safety category covers accident investigation and root cause analysis; risk assessments and planning construction work; and asbestos awareness. Further CIOB education initiatives are expected to follow this year, including the launch of a “CPD Academy”. Full details of the new courses are available at www.ciob.org/training
CIOB starts the hunt for new Construction Manager of the Year Award judges The CIOB has begun recruiting expert judges to assess the candidates in this year’s Construction Manager of the Year Award. The annual award, which focuses on people rather than projects, provides a unique chance for skilled construction managers to compare themselves with their peers. As the awards are renowned for the rigour of the judging process, the CIOB stresses the importance of having a judging panel with high levels of expertise. Each year the judging
team spends six months and clocks up a total of 15,000 miles interviewing candidates and visiting every shortlisted site. Judges must possess extensive knowledge and experience in construction management (in site project management, public relations or other key areas) and a thorough understanding of the construction industry and industry regulations. Applicants to judge the awards must be current chartered members of the CIOB. Practitioners in all areas of construction management
– especially previous award winners — are encouraged to apply for the role. For 2016 the CIOB has revised the criteria for entering the awards, opening up routes for nonsite-based managers and single package managers to apply. Applications will also be welcomed from senior managers or operations directors who might be overseeing a portfolio of projects rather than having a hands-on role on a single project. A pdf application form can be downloaded from www.cmya.co.uk CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 9
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Chris Blythe The year of fantasy housebuilding and a fudge over BIM
Student team entries sought Teams invited to enter CIOB’s third Global Student Challenge
Undergraduate teams from universities around the world have been invited to register to take part in the CIOB’s third annual Global Student Challenge. The challenge is an online interactive game, in which each team of four students runs a “virtual” construction company in a simulated environment using MERIT software, which stands for Management Enterprise Risk Innovation and Teamwork. Each team is made up of four full or parttime students based anywhere in the world taking a Bachelor’s degree level course in a built environment discipline. Each of the students takes on a specific job role, such as managing director or financial manager. Teams can apply to take part up until the end of February, with early registration encouraged so that they can trial the game and familiarise themselves with the simulation software.
Construction students taking part in the finals of the Global Student Challenge in Hong Kong
“The hardest thing has been learning diplomacy skills and finding a way to come to an agreement” Dale Mason, Glasgow Caledonian University
Beginning in March there will be six weekly rounds in the main game, with each round representing a trading quarter where the “company’s” performance will be rated against key performance indicators and compared with the other teams. At the end of April the top six teams will be invited to Hong Kong to compete in the finals where a further eight rounds of trading will take place. The finals will take place in July, when the overall winners will take home £2,000 and be awarded places on a leadership development course where they will receive mentoring and assistance from past presidents of the CIOB. Each university can submit up to five teams. The cost to enter one team is £350, two teams £650, three teams £875 and four or five teams £1,000. Last year’s challenge was won by a team from Glasgow Caledonian University. Loughborough University finished second, while the University of Hong Kong came third. The other three finalists were all from Australia: University of Newcastle; Curtin University; and Deakin University. Dale Mason, one of the members of the winning team said: “The best thing about this competition is the business learning side. It’s a massive learning curve, seeing things not just in terms of calculations and equations, but in terms of the outcomes of your decisions. “The hardest thing has been learning diplomacy skills and finding a way to come to an agreement — team working — it sounds easy but it is quite difficult at times.”
CIOB chief warning after illegal worker crackdown CIOB chief executive Chris Blythe has warned that last October’s crackdown on illegal migrants working in construction will become a repeat occurrence if the industry does not clean up its act. Operation Magnify, a joint operation by the Immigration Enforcement team at the Home Office, HMRC and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, resulted in the arrest of 257 illegal workers from 153 construction sites. Nine business were told they could face fines of £20,000 per worker, if the companies are unable to provide documentary evidence that they carried out Home Office Right to Work checks correctly.
Blythe said: “Operation Magnify outcomes clearly demonstrate that the construction industry will prove to be fertile ground for the immigration enforcement teams from the Home Office for some time to come. “The pitfalls of employing illegal workers are clear and do the industry no favours. It is another example where a small number of employers damage the image and reputation of the rest of the industry by not obeying the law.” Of the 257 workers arrested, 119 had overstayed their visas, 127 did not have a visa at all and the rest were arrested for other immigration offences.
2016 is going to be a big year, according to the construction pundits. We are still blitzed by government announcements about housebuilding. The latest is the demolition of 100 sink estates, which will be replaced with something better — whatever that is. This follows the one about “directly commissioning” builders — again, it’s not clear what that means. So I am now confused about how many new houses are actually going to be built over the life of the current government, as opposed to how many are going to be fantasised about being built. With the current shortage of skilled labour and the dismal level of recruitment, I don’t see how half of what is being talked about can actually be built unless we really put up our migrant workforce — which is going in the opposite direction to the prime minister’s aim to reduce net migration. Of course, if the value of the pound goes down against the euro, there is the real possibility that many migrants in the industry might go back home. 2016 also sees the requirement for BIM implementation in the supply chain for government contracts. Whatever happens will be a bit of a fudge. Though so much still needs to be done the target will be deemed to have been achieved. This is an initiative doomed to succeed. Another interesting number was the £154m of additional income tax that HMRC has recovered from self-employed workers in the industry. This amazing figure — higher than the total corporation tax paid by our top 50 contractors — shows that a large number of contractors have not got their house in order yet and are still promoting bogus self-employment, making the industry an easy target for HMRC. There is another aspect to this and it is similar to the use of illegal workers. Supplying labour to sites at less than the real, all-in cost undermines honest labour suppliers and employers and distorts the market place. Competent commercial managers should be able to drive it out of the industry, rather than encourage it. The headlines tarnish the image of the industry just as we are under pressure to recruit able people at all levels. Perhaps the event that will make 2016 a really big year is a decision on another runway for London, although I am not going to hold my breath. It is difficult to get excited about a decision that is possibly 15 years too late and is probably the wrong decision anyway. We need three new runways for London and we will get them — but expect them to be built in Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.
Read more from Chris Blythe on p24.
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On our best behaviour for clients and climate BEHAVIOURAL ASSESSMENT, one of the top 10 buzzwords we identified in the January issue, is already making its presence felt in the industry (see vox pop, right). Highways England is the best known proponent of the technique, while HS2 is already committed to using it throughout the procurement phase and into project delivery. As 2016 progresses, the likelihood is that other major clients and framework operators will seek to include at least an element of "behavioural assessment" in bidding processes too. The technique involves putting bid teams through their paces in simulated exercises, such as a project delay or lastminute redesign, then judging how well they display the kind of problem-solving and collaborative behaviours that clients need. It's similar to the assessment exercises that some employers run when recruiting individuals, but with far higher, multi-million pound stakes. The emergence of behavioual assessment certainly seems to be in step with other trends in the industry. In the case of BIM for instance, it's increasingly becoming clear that digital techniques per se will only have a limited effect on project efficiencies: the real step change comes when client and supply chain teams truly put partisan needs to one side, develop a collaborative approach that cuts out risk and the costs that go with it, and start innovating together. In payment practice too, the industry is shifting, with Tier 1 contractors increasingly adopting Project Bank Accounts, and the new wider-angle view
of the world that goes with it. And if the delayed Supply Chain Payment Charter takes hold in 2016, it will further drive the industry away from the "us and them" fragmentation that lies at the root of so many inefficiencies. So yes, behavioural assessment is to be welcomed as another tool that will encourage the industry towards a more cost effective, and hopefully more profitable, way of working. But while we're on the subject, could we add a few more scenarios to the tests? A year ago, Construction Manager revealed that contractors' carbon footprint, in terms of emissions from onsite operations and transport, in fact rose through the recession years. This year, it's clear that the same pattern prevailed in total built environment emissions, covering "embedded carbon" in products and materials, and heating and lighting emissions from the UK's building stock. In other words, the drive to de-carbonise, and de-couple emissions from output, had less impact than we thought. "Business as usual" therefore means we are extremely unlikely to achieve the 50% reduction in emissions (from 1990 levels) targeted in Construction 2025. Clearly, government policy, such as the failure of the Green Deal and softpedalling on Part L and zero carbon, had a major role. But if we're looking at critical issues that benefit from collaborative behaviour, that will surely include the industry's contribution to climate change.
Profit debate deserves a place among industry's key issues David Benson FCIOB, via website Of course it is possible for a project to be delivered to cost and programme targets and make a profit (Profit shouldn't be a dirty word â€“ it's essential for the industry's future, online). [At Cardiff Metropolitan University] we have an unwritten condition within our single source framework that the contractor must include a minimum 3% profit over and above any gain share achieved through the project. Does it always work? No, but it sets out with the project in the right place, and I would certainly want to know if our contractor was not making a profit on our projects. Can anyone replicate this? Of course they can, though certainly in the public sector it needs a complete culture change. Ian Heptinstall, online Making profit is a good thing, but why focus on return-on-sales as the appropriate margin to look at? There is no logic as to why a company should make a particular return-on-sales percentage. Why should a contractor expect to make more profit just because a client chooses more expensive finishes? If you look at return on assets the numbers paint a very different picture about the profitability of the industry. And if we want to be radical, let's look at return-on-staff cost, because that is the real investment contractors make, and on which it is reasonable to make a return.
Elaine Knutt, editor
More Construction Manager online and on Twitter Our twice-weekly newsletters give you breaking news, and online-only content, including more coverage of skills shortages and the carbon agenda, and fresh perspectives on the weekâ€™s news. Sign up at www.construction-manager. co.uk. For news from CM and other sources as it happens, join our 9,000+ Twitter followers @CMnewsandviews.
Brian Jukes, online It is essential that contractors, supply chain and consultants make profits derived from positive margins on the work they do. Contractors can survive on small margins if cash flow is positive as this means they do not need to employ their own capital for the benefit of the client. Once cash flow is negative then small margins are totally inadequate. With the demands on resources today contractors need a margin approaching 10% to remain viable.
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Vox pop Will we see more clients adopt behavioural assessments in the procurement process in 2016? Don Ward Chief executive, Constructing Excellence Behavioural assessments are a good thing as they encourage successful collaboration, and certainly much greater focus is needed in procurement on the quality of relationships. Intelligent clients with the capability will use such assessments to improve how they procure to get a better fit from their suppliers. However, I suspect that it will be limited to larger programmes and so most firms will not feel the benefit. One of the challenges will be whether clients have capacity to carry out assessments — at local government level, for example, there are no longer enough people client-side. Consultants will probably support the process, but clients will need to invest resources as without their involvement the assessments will not be able to judge compatibility.
Edd Burton Associate director, Turner & Townsend To an extent behavioural assessment has already caught on for high-value, high-complexity projects. The question is how much it will be adopted in other sectors, such as energy and property development, as well as more standard projects. Ultimately this will come down to cost benefit analysis. For lower value projects, or for clients sceptical of their usefulness, you really need to show tangible benefits to quantify the cost benefit. Data will be the driver of greater adoption. Those looking to sell the benefits of behavioural assessments may need more than just the testament of client
Scott Kennedy, online As a contractor's QS I've been preaching this for years. Awarding to the lowest bidder is, on the face of it, great for the client, but is in fact the genesis of most disputes and litigation. Every project has a correct price and adopting a more collaborative approach between the parties in determining the correct price will lead to a better, more efficient and, importantly, less litigious environment for us all to be part of.
organisations. Obtaining empirical data to demonstrate the time, cost and quality benefits brought to a project is key.
Katy Harris Associate director, Project Five Consulting Behavioural assessments can add a tremendous amount of value to a project — after all, construction is about people. However, my concern is in its ability to go mainstream, as implementing the assessments can add a lot of cost and time to the procurement process. To do a behavioural assessment properly requires a lot of buy-in from the client as they need to spend time seriously working out what behaviours they need and want. Those not carrying out behavioural assessments should take advantage of processes that are already in place, such as the interview, to gauge behaviours. Price will obviously remain an important factor in procurement, but more attention should be paid to the people side.
Team building: Behavioural assessments could become more common in construction
Canute Simpson MCIOB
Ian Heptinstall Director of product & knowledge, ArcBlue I hope the idea of assessing the people and their collective behaviours does catch on. Like many techniques of good procurement, it needs using appropriately. Procurement history is littered with people picking up a great tool, but using it in the wrong way. If you are looking to use collaboration across the members of the project team, then definitely assessing the behavioural characteristics of the key staff should be a critical part of the supplier selection process. But a team of 30 clipboardwielding assessors does seem very OTT. In the past I have included it in the
"Behavioural assessments can add a tremendous amount of value — after all, construction is about people" Katy Harris, Project Five Consulting
Carbon targets: for and against Tony, via website These reduction targets will never be achieved; they are arbitrary and — ultimately — pointless. (Rising built environment emissions putting 2025 target out of reach, says GCB). One thing we are good at in this country is setting targets, scrapping them when it is clear we are about to miss them by miles, and then setting higher targets for x years in the future. Meanwhile, the
general supplier assessment, and that worked fine. With a supplier it is less important than with a key employee – you can always get the supplier to change the people on the team if they don’t “gel”. I would certainly look at the key people in a supplier. Do they really believe in crossteam collaboration, and do they understand what it means for their behaviours?
Director of inspiration, Smart Objectives A lot of my main clients are the major developers and I haven't had one yet ask me to carry out a behavioural assessment. However, assessing people's behaviours is extremely important — and definitely preferable to personality tests. You can see behaviours, whereas it is hard to judge personalities and how they will impact on how a team will operate. Although clients are not asking directly for behavioural assessments, they are asking us to carry out workshops for project team members. Often these involve tasks where we record behaviours — so it’s fair to say we are already assessing behaviours. Carrying out these sorts of workshops is definitely a good idea as long as they are not just box-ticking exercises. For a CPD guide to behavioural assessments, see page 36
industry wrings its hands trying to achieve unachievable targets.
Contact us Do you have an opinion on any of this month’s articles? Email: constructionmanager@atom publishing.co.uk
Stephen, via website The targets are not pointless: they are based ultimately on the evidence of GHG concentrations and sound climate science, which tell us that reversing the current trend in GHG emissions is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. Without measurement and reporting against targets there will be no action at all. CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 13
Feature Offsite manufacturing
The building built by Gurkhas Eight ex-Gurkhas unskilled in construction built a defect-free pharmaceuticals facility from components delivered in shipping containers. Does GSK’s Factory in a Box show the way forward for construction? Elaine Knutt reports IN AN INDUSTRY with flatlining productivity and endemic skills shortages, there’s a rallying cry to develop technologies that move away from labour-intensive brick-on-brick and put us in sync with the forward-thinking innovators of this world - think car-making, aerospace and oil and gas. If, the argument goes, we could re-engineer buildings from first principles, move away from reliance on highly skilled but over-specialised trades, produce defect-free buildings as reliably and predictably as cars off a production line… In fact, a pilot project on an industrial park near Strood, Kent has already demonstrated exactly this approach, with all the positive results the pundits predict. Pharmaceuticals multinational GSK’s “Factory in a Box” is an Ikea-style, click-and-connect production facility, built by a team of just eight ex-Gurkhas with no particular construction training. It literally arrives on site in boxes – shipping containers that contain every component packed in the reverse order needed for the re-assembly process. It’s a building packaged as a repeatable commodity. The project responded primarily to GSK’s need to develop factories and packaging facilities in emerging markets, particularly in Africa and Asia.
Left: Blueprint for the single-storey facility, showing the serviced ceiling and clean rooms below. Above: The exGhurkhas from FSI mid-way through the build, with the ceiling structure in place
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Feature Offsite manufacturing
“Our challenge is to how can you build a kit factory that anyone can build,” says John Dyson, head of capital strategy and design at GSK. “The more you rely on trades, the more you rely on the quality in the country you’re building in, and that costs money. And in particular it’s difficult for a company with very high compliance standards. So it started with the hypothesis: if we can fit everything into a shipping container, we can send it anywhere in the world, to be built by anyone.” But, with an estimated saving of 30% compared to the same facility built conventionally, as well as a construction
programme cut from 12 weeks to four, Dyson now also wants to introduce elements of the project to the company's construction programme in the UK. “My ambition is to repeat this multiple times, and to put components into projects in the UK to help achieve cost certainty. I hope that Factory in a Box will be one of the generic systems that go towards revolutionising the construction process in the industry. It’s a reasonably small step from this to the health, education or residential sectors,” he says. The project was developed by innovative design and management
“If we can fit everything into a shipping corner, we can send it anywhere in the world, to be built by anyone” John Dyson, GSK
consultant Bryden Wood, a firm that has moved away from its architectural roots to call itself “the R&D office of the building industry”, bringing expertise in rethinking business processes and throwing out old assumptions. The firm has a track record in re-engineering buildings and Design for Manufacture solutions, cutting costs and project programmes for clients such as the Metropolitan Police, Gatwick Airport, Circle healthcare and the Ministry of Justice. Over the 10 years of their professional partnership, Bryden Wood and GSK have championed process-driven solutions, rather than a design-led approach. > CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 15
Feature Offsite manufacturing
“You could call us McKinsey with overalls – we’ve looked at GSK’s size; we can run a design model to quantify the optimum size of a facility” Jaimie Johnston, Bryden Wood
Below: A crate of coloured brackets and fixing connections, which match to coloured stickers positioned on the components during the manufacturing process.
> Bryden Wood director Jaimie Johnston explains: “You could call us McKinsey with overalls – we’ve looked at GSK’s needs; we can run a design model to quantify the optimum size of a facility to reduce bottlenecks. In one instance, we found if you change the shift patterns you can make 25% more product. The answer isn’t always a building – we’re trying to put more science into the decision-making.” In this case, the problem was: how does a firm like GSK go into an emerging market and quickly build high-quality facilities with different levels of capability in different countries? Bryden Wood’s approach was to standardise and commodify the design and construction process by breaking the problem down into “chips”, or groups of related components, that Johnston calls “the Lego bricks of the building process”. Connect the chips in a workable order and you have a schematic for a functioning production facility. The system means that a GSK team can draw up a reliable cost estimate of a bespoke new facility within a matter of days – and then modify its capacity or layout equally quickly. The chips are based on standard GSK functions across its property portfolio, such as storage areas, clean rooms, blending chemicals or packaging. “We break it down to what makes sense in terms of our processes, then we build a database about each chip defining its physical characteristics, its energy requirements, air change requirements, how many operatives it will need and the training they will require,” says Dyson. The chips are both physical and digital entities containing all the related BIM object data, so that the actual building will be an exact representation of the digital model, with its components assembled in the same sequence. Cataloguing repeatable components and systems in this way also means that components can be tagged with 2D bar codes and tracked through manufacturing distribution and on to site. “So we know how long it takes to manufacture them, load them and put them on to the frame – giving very, very accurate data on the cost and the labour requirement,” says Dyson. Armed with the detailed “chipped” design, Bryden Wood and GSK went out to tender with 100% clarity on both design and
quantities. Crown Structural Engineering supplied the steelwork, while Easi-space provided modified 6m shipping containers adapted to act as climate-controlled “clean rooms”, and Gilcrest Manufacturing supplied composite wall panels. Sourcing local suppliers But in future overseas roll-outs, UK suppliers could be replaced with local firms, adds Johnston. “With shipping relatively cheap, it doesn’t add much extra on top of the manufacturing cost. But in some markets – for instance, India – there’s a developed supply chain and we might have been able to manufacture the components there.” His colleague, associate architect Jim Mitchell, adds: “We could get the components sourced in advance to suit where we’re going. In Asia, China is now less cost effective, but
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Feature Offsite manufacturing
it might be Vietnam, if they can produce steelwork to our specifications.” But a key project partner for Factory in a Box was management services company FSI, which supplied a workforce of exGurkhas, chosen for their work ethic and reputation for teamwork. The team of just eight multi-skilled members did have some electrical, plumbing and decorating experience, but each team member also turned their hand to any tasks required. The only add-on training was instruction in crimping pipework to join copper pipes. The ex-Gurkhas’ task was to assemble pre-engineered components with simple, bolted connections. These were loaded in the shipping containers in a pre-arranged sequence so that the first items to come out were the first in line to be assembled. On site, the operatives followed a detailed method statement for each section of the
“We’ve taken a sophisticated building and turned it into a step-by-step process” John Dyson, GSK
Above: The innovative envelope was trialled separately. The folding portal system for the roof and walls arrived flat, then horizontal struts created the roof pitch before the entire structure was lifted into place.
build, but were also guided by an easyto-follow system of coloured dots – fixing pink brackets to pink steels, or yellow to yellow. Wall and ceiling panels connect to a structural steel frame that is pre-engineered to include wiring and plumbing routes. “The site is massively productive,” adds GSK’s Dyson. In fact, GSK has calculated that 82% of the workers’ time on site was spent productively. While there is little recent research on measuring site productivity, a study quoted in Sir John Egan's Rethinking Construction report suggested 60% was a typical figure. The Factory in a Box also chalked up zero incidents, and zero defects. To avoid working at height, Bryden Wood developed an innovative idea for a roof pivot, with the steel roof arriving on site folded flat then lifted into place and made rigid with a special hinge detail at the apex. But in the event, the system will be modified as it created a seal that wasn’t good enough for GSK’s compliance standards, with a gap failing the standard for moisture and insect penetration. The assembly process also forced another modification, related to the riskiest part of the build – lifting the 25 tonne ceiling assembly from the ground in stages via a system of ratchets on the structural columns. Two methods of lifting were trialled but in the end a simple mechanical block-and-tackle system was pr eferred over using hydraulic jacks attached to battery packs. The finished product is estimated to cost 15% more than a standard local building, but built to world-class quality and safety standards – and far quicker. “We’ve taken a sophisticated building and turned it into a step-by-step process, assembled with the type of efficiencies you’d find in a factory environment,” says Bryden Wood’s Mitchell. GSK’s Dyson is certain that the contents of Factory in a Box will be as valuable for the wider construction industry as for GSK’s own agenda. “It’s disappointing to me that so many industries have stepped up a gear in terms of productivity, such as the car industry or aerospace, when some measures of productivity show construction is actually getting worse, not better. I’m hoping we can get the message out to the industry that there can be a different way of doing things. There’s no IP in this – I’d like people to go 'that’s a great idea, let’s do it'.” CM
The project used simple bolted connections, here fixing a clean room sandwich panel to the steel stucture. A blue sticker signals the need for a blue bracket, while holes were predrilled. A barcode sticker, readable via smartphone app, contains full details from manufacture to maintenance.
A shipping container loaded with panels that will form the lining of the clean room spaces is unloaded. On arrival at the industrial park, the first panel in the sequence to be installed was the first to be unpacked. The entire structural grid was built around the dimensions of the panels.
The steel superstructure, awaiting the installation of the clean room panels, and the serviced ceiling, which was assembled on the ground then lifted into position. The 25 tonne ceiling assembly was originally going to be raised via a system of pneumatic jacks, but in the end a simpler block and tackle system was preferred. CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 17
Feature Alternative finance
NOT ON THE HIGH STREET Peer-to-peer lending is one of the fastest emerging forms of alternative finance – and construction companies frustrated by banks’ attitudes are starting to make use of it. Will Mann explains
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Feature Alternative finance
ILLUSTRATION: DYLAN GIBSON
“Construction firms simply don’t fit the banks’ risk profile. But it’s still possible to get debt finance from an alternative lender at the same – or a better – rate” Paul Bogle, NFB DESPITE THREE YEARS of almost uninterrupted growth, the construction industry still faces a major problem: banks don’t want to touch it. “We've had numerous instances of members telling us banks have turned down overdrafts or loan applications, even when they have a solid credit rating,” says Paul Bogle, head of policy at the National Federation of Builders (NFB). “The trouble is, construction companies simply don’t fit with the banks’ risk profile. But it’s still possible to get debt finance from an alternative lender at the same — or even a better — rate than the banks,” he continues. As Bogle says, the high street banks are still cautious on SME lending, with reduced lending rates probably stemming from their historic debt, low capital base
or even, in some cases, skills shortages in specialist lending teams. But construction SMEs facing a lack of finance, or wanting better terms, do now have other options for securing debt finance: they’re seeking funds just as “disruption” in the lending industry has brought the rise of “alternative finance”. These are lending channels that have emerged outside the banking system, including crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending,and invoice trading platforms. According to Bogle, the NFB is currently encouraging its members to investigate these growing alternatives to high street banks. The largest sector in alternative finance, and the fastest growing, is peerto-peer lending (also known by the acronym P2PL), also known as social
lending and crowdlending. Virtually unheard of in business circles just five years ago, by 2013 the sector had lent £550m, rising to a total of £5bn in 2015, with lending to businesses currently running at almost £2bn a year. Peer-to-peer lending differs from other forms of alternative finance, such as crowdfunding, in that it provides debt finance, rather than equity in the style of the BBC's Dragons' Den series. Funds can be used for working capital, bridging finance or perhaps a commercial mortgage or a development project. (For more on how it works, see Q&A overleaf). The first peer-to-peer intermediary company, Zopa, was established in 2005, specialising in providing personal loans. The first to provide >
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 19
Feature Alternative finance
> business loans was Funding Circle, set up in 2010, which is now the UK's second biggest lender overall and the biggest to companies. Its investors include the government-backed British Business Bank, 19 local authorities, a university and a range of financial institutions. Other peer-to-peer “intermediaries” include RateSetter, Rebuildingsociety, CrowdProperty, ThinCats, Assetz Capital, FundingKnight, LendInvest, LandBay, MarketInvoice, Wellesley and Lending Works. The trade body for these is the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association, and the sector is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. While the sector originally acted as an intermediary between borrowers and private retail investors, in the last few years the banks and other financial institutions, such as hedge funds, pension funds and insurance companies, have used them as a lending channel — taking higher risks for higher returns. “In the next 10 years, alternative finance could account for 40% of commercial finance by banks,” property finance specialist Parik Chandra of Funding Circle told a recent NFB conference. Since launching, Funding Circle has loaned just over £1bn in total to businesses, and provided 2,488 loans worth £263m to the construction and property market, proving a lifeline for several construction companies frustrated by the banks’ attitudes (see case study boxes, p22). “Some 30% of businesses who come to us wouldn't have got funding otherwise,” says David de Koning, Funding Circle’s head of communications. “But we are not a lender of last resort.
How much, how expensive and how risky? The key questions about peer-to-peer lending answered
“Businesses want speed and certainty, and the whole application process gets funds into your account in typically just two weeks” David de Koning, Funding Circle
What is peer-to-peer lending?
What are the interest rates?
Intermediary or marketplace websites match individuals or companies who need finance with savers or investors looking for a good return on their money. The process, also known as crowdlending or social lending, bypasses traditional financial institutions such as banks, so borrowers can sometimes get slightly better rates, or find credit when they have been refused elsewhere.
Interest rates are set in one of two ways: by lenders, who compete for the opportunity on a reverse auction model; or by the P2PL intermediary based on the borrower’s risk rating. Funding Circle has recently switched from the former to the latter, saying that “investors prefer the certainty”. Its rates range from 6% for A+ rated companies to 18.1% for E rated firms.
How do you apply for a loan?
They can range from six months up to five years. There is no penalty for early repayment.
Loan applications are made through a questionnaire on P2PL intermediary websites. This is then assessed by the intermediary. Start-ups are not usually considered; Funding Circle filters out any company less than two years old and with turnover below £50,000. Applicants with a poor credit history, for example a county court judgement, are also unlikely to be approved. If successful, the intermediary will usually assign the company a risk rating – from A+ to E – which is used to determine the interest rate. It will then post details of the application on its website and market the requirements to potential lenders. How quickly will I ﬁnd lenders?
There’s no set length of time – it all depends on who’s looking for a loan at a particular time and at what rate. But the speed of loan turnaround is generally good compared to banks. Most lenders say two weeks is the norm. In fact, companies who use us find the experience better than using banks. Businesses want speed and certainty, and the whole loan application process gets funds into your account in typically just two weeks.” De Koning says that the companies that come to Funding Circle represent a broad cross-section of industries and sectors across the UK. That said, one sector that does seem particularly well suited is property development, where the buoyant market, particularly in London, offers high returns. The highest P2PL loan approved
How long are the repayment terms?
How much can I borrow?
There is no minimum loan amount, though most lending to businesses is for sums in the tens of thousands and upwards. The highest P2PL business loan approved to date is £4.1m. Are there any other costs?
Lending intermediaries charge a one-time fee on funded loans from borrowers and a loan servicing fee to investors, normally a fixed amount annually or a percentage of the loan amount. What are the risks?
For borrowers, the principal risk is generating sufficient revenue to pay back the loan within the agreed term on what may be a high rate of interest. Funding Circle says it works with companies that struggle with repayments or default, and may reschedule the loan. It adds that its bad debt level is around 2%, which it says is comparable to the high street banks. to date was £4.1m for a residential housing project in Croydon, by LendInvest, on a 12% annualised rate of interest. Funding Circle has a ceiling of £1m for unsecured loans, but has recently upped that to £3m for loans secured on property. The venture arranged loans worth a total of £115m to property borrowers last year, according to Chandra. The future for alternative finance, and for P2PL in particular, looks rosy. An independent report by Nesta Investments and the University of Cambridge in 2014 forecast that the UK alternative finance >
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www.radmat.com Radmat_LookUp_PermaQuik_ConstructManager_ART_220x285.indd 1
Feature Alternative finance
Case study GRA Project Management
“We will see banks offering alternative finance themselves, because they want to retain control of the lending market” Paul Bogle, NFB
> market would be worth £4.4bn by the end of 2015, of which business P2PL would account for 43%. In 2012, its value was just £267m. The government has welcomed this upstart challenger to the traditional financial system, with junior Treasury minister Harriett Baldwin calling P2PL “a brilliantly innovative new form of finance — which we want to see continue to grow and evolve”. Additionally, following a 2014 consultation, the government has introduced new regulations that will force banks to refer SMEs rejected for loan applications to the alternative finance market, including providing names of intermediaries. For instance, RBS is now directing would-be business borrowers that
fail to meet its lending criteria to P2P lenders Funding Circle and Assetz Capital. The NFB’s Bogle welcomes this development and believes alternative finance and commercial peer-to-peer lending will only grow. “As more companies take out these loans, there will be an increased level of comfort and confidence,” he predicts. “We will also see banks looking at offering alternative finance themselves, as a defensive move, because they want to retain control of the lending market.” Bogle adds that “2016 is a key year” for construction companies to look at alternative finance. “As an industry, we are wrestling with increased costs, but there is a healthy pipeline of work — so it’s vital that businesses look at all finance options open to them,” he says. CM
Case study K&M Interior Solutions K&M Interior Solutions is a drylining contractor, based in Watford, Hertfordshire, which specialises in high-end residential projects in London. The company was set up in 2012, and quickly built its reputation, with work enquiries flowing through the door. Managing director Kim Krogdahl (pictured) decided to expand the business, but faced one problem: cashflow. “We were being offered more work, but the upfront cost for labour and materials was going to be massive, and we were still waiting for retentions on our completed contracts to be paid,” he says. So Krogdahl began exploring debt finance avenues. He ruled out going to his existing high street bank because of their antipathy towards construction, while another lender said that his growth plan was “unrealistic”. But he got a more positive response after speaking to peerto-peer lender RateSetter in 2014.
“We had to provide full accounts but the customer experience was much better than dealing with a bank” Kim Krogdahl, K&M Interior Solutions “We had to provide a comprehensive business plan, with full accounts and forecasts, but the customer experience was much better than dealing with a bank,” Krogdahl says. “It was also much quicker — the loan was approved in two weeks.” The RateSetter loan gave K&M the cash reserves to start new contracts while it was waiting for the retentions to come in. “Undoubtedly, that loan is the reason we've been able to grow as we have,” says Krogdahl. “We posted revenue of £146,000 in our first year, £1.1m in the second, and we're now up to about £2.4m. We are still growing and the plan is to get to £4.5m. And if we need any more debt finance, we'll be going back to RateSetter.”
GRA Project Management is a Norfolk-based civil engineering contractor that specialises in drainage, with a turnover of around £2.5m and contracts from £35,000 to more than £2.5m. Its clients include Balfour Beatty and RG Carter. Managing director Gavin Armstrong (pictured) turned to peer-to-peer lending three years ago after becoming frustrated with banks. “They are very wary of construction nowadays,” he says. “We tried to get a £100,000 overdraft and were turned down, whereas pre-recession it wasn’t a problem to get £200,000.” GRA wanted finance to purchase machinery — excavators and dumpers — plus some working capital for a civils project for Balfour Beatty. “With 60-day payment terms, and 20 to 30 guys on the job, there are major upfront costs before you can start a contract,” says Armstrong. His business has taken out three peerto-peer loans through Rebuildingsociety: £50,000, £100,000 and, most recently, £315,000. “The process is quite straightforward — you answer a series of questions, and Rebuildingsociety do a fairly rigorous background check before they allow you to bid. Depending on the amount, you have to put down a personal guarantee, and for the third loan I also had to arrange a second mortgage on my family home,” says Armstrong. “The rates are higher than what you would get from a standard lender — 14% — but that’s the price you have to pay. It gets me working and gets me a return,” he says. “If I need it again, I know where to go because the lenders now have confidence in my business. One individual lender provided £100,000 of the last loan because I repaid the previous two quickly. “I will pay off the latest loan in a month’s time — only 18 months after taking it out — which will be two years ahead of schedule. Peer-to-peer finance has been fantastic for our business.”
“The rates are higher than a standard lender — at 14% — but it gets me working and gets me a return” Gavin Armstrong, GRA Project Management
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Slavery has no part
in the supply chain
The vast majority of construction businesses need to make sure they and their suppliers comply with the new Modern Slavery Act, says Chris Blythe NO ONE CAN CONDONE the trafficking and
exploitation of vulnerable people. However, the very structure of the construction industry, the casualisation of labour and the dependence on employment agencies mean that exploitation will happen. So it is important for construction businesses to grasp the implications of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and to understand that the Act covers worldwide activity – what happens on a site in the Middle East is just as critical as on a site in Birmingham. The Act seeks to consolidate a number of existing laws as well as bring in new penalties and reliefs. One of its most crucial aspects is the establishment of an independent anti-slavery commissioner to encourage good practice in the area to ensure the prevention of slavery and trafficking, as well as the identification of victims. The first person appointed is Kevin Hyland OBE, a former police officer with much experience in the field. The Transparency in Supply Chains (TISC) provisions covered by Section 54 of the Act present the most obvious challenge for the industry. Under this, firms with a turnover in excess of £36m must publish an annual statement of the steps taken to
assure their supply chain is slavery-free. The chain covers everything from agency workers (the most obvious place to start) to the PPE supplier. While there is a provision to publish a statement that no steps have been taken, anyone doing that is likely to be short of customers sooner or later. The statement has to be published on the company’s website or, if there is no website, must be available on request. All statements will also be published on an independent website available to anyone. Before firms with a turnover of less than £36m breathe a sigh of relief, they can think again. If you have a customer whose turnover is greater than £36m then they will be required to make a statement and will require you, as part of the supply chain, to make a statement that they can rely on. So it is likely that you are going to have to do the work on your supply chain as well. In other words, while the threshold for making a statement is £36m, in practice all firms in the supply chain will be jointly obliged to report on the chain. It’s clever or devilish depending on your viewpoint. Judging by the initial expectations from the Home Office, these statements should be as much about showing progress as
What do I need to know about The Common Data Environment (CDE) is a digital place in which information comes together. It should be the foundation from which you manage and disseminate information between multidisciplined teams throughout the project lifecycle. The CDE is not just a place to share geometric information. Registers, schedules, contracts, reports and model information are all shared, building on the concept of a “federated” model. It could take the form of a project server, an extranet or a file-based retrieval system. Document and data management systems
“Monitoring activities should be part of the day job of site managers and procurement managers”
giving a categorical assurance. But how they are interpreted in the court of public opinion will be another matter: common sense tells you that the firms that report issues and outline the steps being taken to resolve them will fare better than firms that either say they have done nothing or say they are fully satisfied – because that will be an invitation to be proved wrong. The nature of the construction supply chain makes it difficult too. Hoping that these matters might be taken care of by writing them into contracts is naïve. If a labour supplier is breaking the law by supplying exploited labour – a law where they face life imprisonment – then contract compliance is not going to happen. The top management of a company will have to sign off the statement, and should have a clear understanding of the Act and
The Common Data Environment for BIM
range in price and functionality. While some file management systems such as DropBox offer a “freemium” service, they may not be PAS 1192:2 and BS 1192 compliant. Other CDE solutions include features such as document control, instant messaging and the ability to mark up and review model files directly within the CDE. On-demand, web-based, hosted, pay-as-you-go services, known as software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors offer CDE solutions to support the BIM Level 2 mandate. As they are web based, there is usually no software or costly IT infrastructure.
PAS 1192:2 and PAS 1192:3 provide guidance on the framework for how a CDE works, with BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 and Building Information Management – A Standard Framework and Guide to BS 1192 giving detail on the delivery process. BS 1192 describes the four distinct phases of a CDE – Work in Progress (WIP); Shared; Published Documentation; and Archive – and gives details on naming, numbering and identification of data in the CDE. It is free to the industry as a digital download via the BSI website. Questions still arise around model ownership,
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BIM bytes: Will BIM data sharing bring greater transparency?
what it means for them. They should also understand that their own customers will want to use their statement as part of their customers’ assurance process. They need to establish the processes necessary for developing the statement, which should be robust but in line with similar processes used in the business. Identify the risks in the supply chain, focus on the greatest ones, then move on to the less risky. It’s a process construction people do every day. While there is no obligation to put in due diligence processes, it will
“Professional advisers will also be affected. That tender that is too good to be true may be because there is exploited labour involved” intellectual property and data security. Ownership remains with the originator, and it is only the originator that can change, alter or update it. To ensure that information is secure, you should follow the principles set out in PAS 1192:5 and be mindful that sensitive projects require a strict access policy. There is some debate around who should pay for the CDE. A key task is to clarify from the outset if the CDE is to be owned by the client, and whether it forms part of the whole-life costs. At the end of the construction phase, the
be near impossible to make a reasonable statement without something in place. Given the current subcontracting model, this could be problematic. There are likely to be hundreds of companies in the supply chain. Firms might even find it prudent to slim down the chain to known and trusted suppliers once again. Finally, businesses must create a culture through training and good procedures that can enable those at the front line to identify the symptoms of exploitation or trafficking and feel fully supported when they take action. Monitoring activities to ensure there are no breaches of the Act should be part of people’s day job, that of site managers and procurement managers, for instance. There is also clearly a role for the CIOB and other professional bodies in helping ensure this becomes common practice. Professional advisers will be also be affected. That tender that is too good to be true may be because exploited labour is involved. Rather than advising clients to discount the bid, further enquiry might help identify the exploiters. Turning a blind eye allows the wrongdoers another chance until they find a less scrupulous adviser. When a brand becomes associated with malpractice, the brand suffers and profits fall. If a major brand’s supplier puts its brand at risk it will be ruthless, whether the supplier is providing £1 T-shirts or building a £20m store. So knowing who is in your supply chain is really important. You only have to look at the steps taken by the food industry to overcome its scandals to see how important proactive management of the supply chain has become. Chris Blythe is chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Building.
CDE is a useful tool for the client to base future decisions on and learn from that will benefit future ongoing Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE). A key task for the information manager – a role that is defined in the CIC BIM Protocol – will be in setting up and managing the CDE. Stefan Mordue is co-author of BIM for Dummies and architect and consultant at NBS Business Solutions. This is an edited version of an article on bimplus.co.uk, and forms part of a “BIM basics” series by Mordue.
One aspect of BIM Level 2 is the provision of a Common Data Environment (CDE) (see below left, What do I need to know about). In the context of the government target for BIM Level 2, the CDE is specified by the employer in the Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR). This data is largely – albeit not exclusively – concerned with the physical asset and decisions the employer has to make during the lifecycle of the facility. Tier 1 contractors are very interested in using data to better manage the construction process – both in the construction phase and for managing the facility. New processes include storing traditional records in forms attached to a BIM model. For today’s contractors, snagging may be done by pointing a tablet at a feature to generate a form tagged to a location. Models are also being linked to programming software to generate 3D visualisations for model construction sequencing and clash detection. Data recorded in the field is date and location specific, while models can be interrogated for their data history. In a sense none of this is new. Contractors have always kept records and design development is recorded through variations. So will BIM take us further? A phrase embedded in the philosophy of BIM is “the single source of truth”, and the industry understands that transparency of information is important. But in reality, it is common practice, where
a party sees it as in its own commercial interest, for information to be used in a very non-collaborative “need to know” basis, or even hidden. It is difficult to see how we will change the dynamic: it is likely there will continue to be a division between those records that the contractor requires for its own purposes, and the data an employer may ask to be kept in the CDE. However, if the source of data is reliable and data is readily available, it may be that we can reduce the inconsistency of records that often prevents a clear picture of events when problems arise. Who has access? Is it too far-fetched to imagine a time when project records are held in a CDE with access granted to any party to the project, or any tribunal asked to resolve a dispute? Could we start from one source of truth held in the CDE and concentrate on resolving issues from a common base? For one-off smaller projects using small Tier 1 contractors, this information may not be captured. But if larger Tier 1 contractors introduce these practices as standard and require their supply chain to follow, the availability of data will become much more common – and the question of access and how it can be used in a dispute context will be a real question for the industry. Tim Willis is a consultant in Trowers & Hamlins’ dispute resolution and litigation department. BIM best practice Read new case studies from around the country demonstrating BIM best practice from Balfour Beatty, BAM, Galliford Try, Kier, Costain and many more. Go to the awardwinning BIM+ website: www.bimplus.co.uk
CONSTRUCTION CONSTRUCTION MANAGER MANAGER | JULY/AUGUST | FEBRUARY 2015 2016 || 25 25
Expert determination: a user’s guide Successful expert determination depends on setting ground rules first, says Tim McGoldrick IN ITS SIMPLEST TERMS expert determination
is a relatively quick, cost-effective and binding method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). While adjudication is a far more common method of ADR in construction, expert determination may be found in projects with an engineering element, such as waste-to-energy plants, or in overseas projects. It is hailed as an informal process, but establishing the rules for an expert determination is anything but informal. Expert determination is a procedure written into the contract between the parties, by means of an express provision entitling the reference of a dispute or disputes to an expert. Alternatively there can be an ad-hoc agreement. The outcome of an expert determination is legally binding, and it is specifically suited to isolated disputes of a technical or specialist nature. Examples might be such as whether a pump or boiler is functioning in accordance with the specification, or the valuation of works carried out, or how much a change order should cost. It is not suited to major disputes that have complex issues of causation and require large amounts of documentation and possibly witness evidence. Similarly, it is not suitable for disputes that are essentially of a legal nature, or hinge on matters of contract interpretation. Unlike litigation, arbitration (the Arbitration Act 1996) and adjudication (the Construction Act 2009), there is no substantial body of case law or statutory provision that governs the procedure, the rights of the parties or the powers of the expert. These and related matters must be the subject of agreement between the parties either at the time they enter into the contract or as the matter is referred. The appointment Some may consider it expedient to name the expert in the contract but this could ultimately be self-defeating. The expert may not be able to act for reasons such as illness, pressure of work or conflicts not apparent at the time he or she agreed to be named. And in the absence of a default
“It is a prerequisite to a speedy expert determination that the expert’s powers are clearly agreed at the outset”
appointment mechanism, the parties may face difficulties in getting a court to appoint a new expert or stipulate the use of any particular nominating procedure. As a means of avoiding these scenarios, the express provisions should allow the parties to agree the name of the expert at the time the dispute is referred and, if agreement is not reached within a stipulated timescale, allow for application to be made to a nominating body such as the RIBA, ICE, IChemE, RICS or IMechE. The procedure The procedure for managing the reference may be set out in the express provisions of the contract, which in turn refer to a separate set of rules, or in the Terms of Reference (a document agreed between parties at the time the matter is referred to the expert). The matters to be addressed include the timetable for submission of documents, the need for meetings, site visits, equipment testing and the date for the issue of the decision. An example of a procedure and the depth of detail to be considered is the IChemE Rules for Expert Determination, Fourth Edition, 2005. Once a dispute has arisen, one party may become obstructive. It is therefore preferable that the key issues of the procedure are set out in the express terms of the contract, leaving matters of detail to be determined by the expert. An expert has no statutory powers to compel the parties to comply with a timetable, thus dragging a recalcitrant party through the process can be time-consuming and expensive. A solution would be to give the expert binding powers within the contract to finally determine the procedure , or at least those matters that are not already agreed within the express terms.
will deal with the specifics of the dispute, it is the powers granted to the expert which govern the manner in which the decision is reached. For instance, does the expert have the power to make enquiries, to decide matters of fact, to order disclosure of documents, to decide on interpretation of the contract, to revise or overrule the decisions of the architect, engineer or project manager? Examples of the type of decisions an expert may be empowered to make are contained in Section 10 of the IChemE Rules and include the power to: l order the payment of money and interest; l order a party to do or refrain from doing something; and l make an order for provisional relief. With regard to the power to overrule decisions, does the power apply to all decisions of the project manager etc, or exclude those stated in the contract as final and binding? And does the expert then have the power to award any cost or losses incurred by a contractor in compliance with the original decision? If the expert’s decision is final and binding, does this mean a decision given in respect of an interim certificate of payment is binding upon all subsequent interim certificates and the final certificate? It is important to consider the implications. Given that expert determination is designed to be final and binding (and thus exclude any future reference to arbitration or litigation) the parties may wish to limit the types of dispute that may be referred to the expert and may do so by expressly listing these in the express provisions. Tim McGoldrick is vice president and executive director of Knowles.
Scope of powers It is an absolute pre-requisite to a speedy and cost-effective expert determination that the expert’s powers are clearly agreed at the outset. Whilst the Terms of Reference, or similarly named document,
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It pays to defuse conflict before it starts A company culture that prizes harmony can make good business sense, says Staffan Engström for being conflict-ridden. I recall the consequences of a conflict between two companies that merged their business, each acquiring a share in the joint business. One party felt short-changed, and accusations began to fly. The other partner was outraged, acted defensively, and communications soon broke down, leading to millions wasted in legal fees. The prevailing wisdom is that the key to effective conflict management is all about good contract administration, however the truth is that relationship management matters even more. You will be much more successful in managing conflict situations when you focus on understanding how people think, feel, and are motivated – whether dealing with an angry foreman or a multi-million pound legal arbitration. In my experience, the core reason why normal issues become destructive conflicts is a question of mindset, linked to the failure to recognise that people frequently struggle to distinguish their feelings about business/commercial issues from their feelings about themselves. This can mean that they unconsciously interpret actions by others as attacks and so respond defensively. In effect, poor communications make people entrenched in adverse positions and attitudes. They subconsciously create “stories” about the reasons for the issues that blame the other side. For example, the contractor’s belief that the client is “impossible to deal with” may be more about the client’s belief that the contractor is angling for an unjustified claim. As a result the client feels exposed, personally vulnerable, and defensive at every turn. The key for the contractor is to establish straightforward trust so that the real issues can be dealt with. Successfully dealing with such a situation will involve separating out the conflict from the relationship, being “super-aware” of the risk of miscommunication, and remaining friendly and respectful, no matter how difficult the entrenchment. When a situation becomes seriously dysfunctional, and you feel that you are
struggling to be understood, think about getting some input from someone outside – some other angles on the truth. New perspectives can make all the difference. But as well as adopting a flexible mindset and trying to see the situation from the other side’s perspective, there are other behaviours that everyone can adopt to help prevent communication problems and the entrenchment of unhelpful attitudes. Here are some pointers that can make all the difference: 1. Invest time to build relationships Think about the conflict situations that you have seen develop. How many of them have been between parties with long-term, well-established, relationships? Not many, I would suggest. If you are serious about making a relationship work with a major new client, then beware of leaving it all to one person or team. Invest in relationships at multiple levels across your organisations, so that you have the knowledge, trust, and mutual understanding in place to deal with issues when they arise. 2. Put the right people in place It is amazing how often people are appointed to a role because they are technically good or understand the product, but their personality profile does not fit. A “bulldozer” manager might be great at getting things delivered on a contract running late, but a disaster in handling delicate tenant negotiations. 3. Build trust at a personal level It is the individual managers and employees of an organisation that create its reputation, so if you want to have a corporate reputation for being good to deal with, then you need to actively manage your people to that end. Developing personal trust and integrity means learning to address tough issues with the kind of straightforward approach that builds respect. Many people behave as though trust and integrity are being soft – that you need to be sly to be successful – so they undermine efforts to build successful relationships.
THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY is renowned
“If you want a corporate reputation for being good to deal with, you must actively manage your people to that end”
It surprises me how often organisations do little or nothing to guide their people in the basics of trust and integrity: straightforwardness, open communication and a friendly but direct approach. 4. Keep calm at all times We have all seen people “lose it” in a difficult meeting. They perhaps think that they can get their way through bullying tactics, and the instinctive response is to go back just as aggressively to show that you aren’t intimidated. There are better ways to respond. One that I always remember occurred amidst a dispute on a large site in London. A site agent was ranting at the director of a glazing subcontractor who listened to what was being said, then looked him in the eye and calmly said: “Have you quite finished your tantrum? Shall we get on with our discussion?” It completely flummoxed the site agent, who meekly had to comply. Staffan Engström is an independent consultant with 30 years’ experience working with some of the best companies in the industry. www.staffanengstrom.co.uk.
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POLITICAL CORRECTNESS Herzog & de Meuron’s Blavatnik School of Government presented huge strategic challenges, but Laing O’Rourke applied offsite techniques on a unique landmark with an innovative glazed facade. Tom Ravenscroft reports 30 | FEBRUARY 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
TAKING ON A BESPOKE starchitect-designed
building with a complex geometry that in effect rules out the large-scale use of off-site manufacturing goes directly against Laing O’Rourke’s established company culture. Yet, in Oxford, the contractor has pulled off just that in constructing a landmark £30m building with an in-situ fair-faced concrete frame for the newly established Blavatnik School of Government. One of a new breed of buildings designed to assist the university to compete in the global higher education
market, the school’s lofty ambition is to train the world’s future leaders. Given this aim, it is not surprising that the university desired a piece of statement architecture. Following the US academic funding model, a wealthy donor – in this case controversial international businessman and investor Leonard Blavatnik, the UK’s richest man – was enticed to pay for the building and Swiss architect Herzog & de Meuron commissioned to design it. The practice has designed a distinctive and impressive building. The Blavatnik’s new six-storey home piles unevenly stacked discs that diminish in size and recede from the main road. Transparency is an important concept for the school, which is fully glazed, with each of the discs wrapped in a double-layered glazed skin (see box, p33). Internally, the heart of the 8,000 sq m building is an extremely generous full-height atrium, or forum space, from which it derives its form. The building’s unique geometry, with several cantilevers and no two ﬂoorplates alike, as well as plentiful exposed concrete completed to the extremely high level of ﬁnish demanded by both architect and client, meant this was a daunting commission. To deliver this high-proﬁle building, the University of Oxford entrusted its long-term collaborator Laing O’Rourke. Over the course of the past 15 years the contractor has completed 11 buildings for the client, including both the £11m student accommodation block for Somerville College that stands next to the new school of government and the £70m Mathematical Institute behind it. This was a relationship that Mike Morris, Laing O’Rourke’s project director, was keen to continue by demonstrating the contractor’s skills on the challenges of the Blavatnik School, although initially his boss did not agree. “When I told Ray [O’Rourke, the group executive chairman] that we wanted to bid for this project with its in-situ frame, he was obviously surprised, as this is not your typical Laing O’Rourke approach,” says Morris. Over the past decade the contractor’s well-publicised focus, backed by substantial investment, has been its offsite construction capability, aka its Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) methodology. Many of its recently completed high-proﬁle schemes, including the Crick Institute and the Leadenhall
Building in London, make extensive use of prefabricated elements, as does the Department of Earth Sciences completed for the University of Oxford in 2010. However, at the Blavatnik the use of offsite manufacturing was limited by the building’s unique shape. The school had been a point of controversy long before Laing O’Rourke got involved, with questions asked over the suitability of the sponsor and the scale of the building. Although the modern design was deemed by some to be unsympathetic to the area and the neoclassical Oxford University Press building opposite, the main bone of contention was the building’s height. In central Oxford, buildings within 1.2km of St Martin’s Tower, popularly called the Carfax Tower, are prevented from exceeding 18.2m, while the school of government is 22m high. However, there have been previous exceptions – most notably the 29.6m copper-clad stepped spire of the Saïd Business School, funded by Saudi-Syrian billionaire Waﬁc Saïd. >
Opposite and above: The building’s form is expressed as a series of stacked discs, with a D-shape breaking out at ﬁrst-ﬂoor level
“This is not your typical Laing O’Rourke approach” Mike Morris, Laing O’Rourke
Section Section showing ﬂoor functions 1. Library 2. Library 3. Academic 4. Academic
5. Teaching 6. Entrance/café 7. Teaching 8. Plant 1 2 3 4 5 6
HERZOG & DE MEURON
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“In veriﬁed views we demonstrated that the quality of the building would improve the views across Oxford” David Oakey, University of Oxford
Above and right: A generous fullheight atrium space, displaying the lightcoloured concrete speciﬁed by Herzog & de Meuron, gives the building its form
> According to David Oakey, the client’s in-house project manager, the university argued that here too the rule should be broken because of the building’s quality: “In veriﬁed views we demonstrated that the quality of the building would improve the views across Oxford. Of course having the Herzog & de Meuron name helped with this.” On a more practical note, the university pointed out to planners that for many years buildings in central Oxford have been rising taller than the Carfax height, which only restricts occupied ﬂoor height, by placing plant on their roofs. At the school the majority of plant was placed in
the basement so that the space above ground could be fully exploited, and the roof left uncluttered. With planning secured, the university was keen to get the building complete as quick as possible. “Strategically, from the university’s point of view we were a year behind where we wanted to be, so there was a real drive to get the building open for 2015/16,” says Oakey. According to Morris, Laing O’Rourke won the two-stage tender to build the project because of its approach to delivery and, perhaps more importantly, its interface with the design team: “This is the ﬁrst time that Herzog & de Meuron had worked
on a design and build contract and the ﬁrst time that the architect had been novated,” he explains. “Their concern was that we would dumb down the design, so there was tension at the early stages. But once a price was agreed, which took six months, and conﬁdence levels were established that we were going to deliver a quality project, all went well.” The component the architect was most concerned with was the fair-faced concrete walls, columns, sofﬁts and staircases that could have no obvious joints or surface mounting of services. This concrete would be visible throughout the building, and the project’s success depended on its quality. Herzog & de Meuron requested lightcoloured concrete that they had seen in London, however, due to variance in aggregate available locally, this would have cost ﬁve times as much in Oxford. As a solution, ground granulated blastfurnace slag (GGBS) was used in the concrete mix to achieve a lighter colour, though it took longer to gain structural strength. To achieve a lightness and colour consistency that satisﬁed the architect, client and contractor, numerous test pours were carried out, the largest of which was a one-to-one scale section of the building that was the size of a house. “The very high speciﬁcation of the concrete for the frame, along with the integration of the M&E, made this an extremely challenging pour,” says Steve Holland, the contractor’s project leader. “We invested cost in going through a thorough process to de-risk the pour as much as possible. There was no room for error – we had to get it right the ﬁrst time.” Laing O’Rourke’s specialist concrete division Expanded Structures has certainly achieved an extremely high quality of ﬁnish, of which Holland is rightfully proud. “How do you like our concrete?” he asks as we tour the building. “The in-situ frame goes against our company culture,” he explains, “but we looked at everything and the project couldn’t be built using offsite
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To ensure that there was no confusion on site, the contractor decided not to differentiate between concrete sections that would or would not be visible. “We made the decision to treat all the concrete on the project as fair-faced; this reduced risk, but increased cost,” says Holland. This choice meant that the entire lower basement level, which will never be seen by students or staff, was built with fairfaced concrete, effectively acting as a fullscale ﬁnal test pour. Constructing areas of the building that were not intended to be on show to the same high standard also has the beneﬁt of increasing ﬂexibility, >
manufacture due to its complex geometry. What we tried to do was approach in-situ with a DfMA culture.” Although the frame itself could not be constructed offsite, Laing O’Rourke was determined to use offsite techniques where possible, so did the next best thing. All of the formwork for the concrete was digitally modelled and manufactured in a controlled environment offsite before being assembled onsite. “Using CAD/CAM to cut the joinery by robot gives us absolute control over the geometry and allows us to create complex forms very accurately,” says Holland.
A breath of fresh air: ventilation and visibility
Innovative double-skin glazing opens up the building practically and metaphorically facade contractor Waagner-Biro, acts as the primary facade, making the building watertight and providing its thermal envelope. This was manufactured offsite as a panelised system. The permeable outer skin is formed from 600mm wide panes of single glazing separated by 30mm air gaps that allow fresh air to circulate within the void. These panes are supported between prefabricated moulded limestone aggregate concrete sills and heads manufactured by Laing O’Rourke’s DfMA company Explore Manufacturing. These concrete units, which had their ﬁxing system integrated at the production facility, are hung from the building’s frame, with each sill and head supporting four glazed panes. The initial design required around 40 different-sized lintels to be constructed. Above and right: The outer layer of broken glazing However, Laing O’Rourke rationalised allows fresh air to circulate around the inner facade the design so the 458 concrete sections According to architect Herzog & de were built in just nine predominant Meuron, the principles of openness, unit sizes with ﬁve specials. communication and transparency were The double facade plays an important central to the challenge of building a part in the environmental strategy of the school of government. Along with the building, which is set to achieve a building’s central forum, the continuous BREEAM excellent rating. It glazed facades are the main architectural creates a micro-climate gesture that promotes these ideals. between the skins that Each of the building’s ﬂoors is assists the natural cooling expressed as an individual disc of and heating, and provides concrete and glass, with the ﬁrst ﬂoor extra solar gain and acoustic forming a D-shape. Above the ground protection. ﬂoor, each of the discs is wrapped in a The fact that the outer double skin that consists of two glazed glazed facade is permeable facades separated by a 750mm gap. to the elements also plays a The double-glazed inner skin, which major role in environmental was manufactured by Austrian specialist control, especially for the
cellular ofﬁces that occupy the majority of the perimeter spaces on the upper ﬂoors. Each ofﬁce is naturally ventilated with full-height openable panels set within the inner glazing system: the presence of the outer layer removes any risk of accidental falls. Floor to ceiling vents cool the room in summer more efﬁciently than a highlevel opening vent, as the ofﬁce’s entire temperature gradient is impacted. The window openings can be operated manually or by the Building Management System (BMS), which also controls the intelligent blinds that ensure the building does not overheat. These fabric blinds are on the exterior of the inner glazing, protected by the outer skin.
1. Prefabricated concrete head 2. Double-glazed inner skin 3. Glazed outer skin 4. Prefabricated concrete sill
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“We made the decision to treat all the concrete on the project as fair-faced; this reduced risk but increased cost” Steve Holland, Laing O’Rourke
Opposite and below: The high-quality fair-faced concrete visible throughout the interior provided the contractor’s greatest technical challenge
> as spaces can be repurposed without the university having to add any retrospective ﬁnishes. A much-trafﬁcked print cupboard that we passed, for example, was originally intended to be storage. The only element that was not poured in-situ was the rear spiral staircase. Although this was originally planned to be in-situ, the complexity of the pour meant Laing O’Rourke had to revert to plan B and insert three precast sections. M&E provision further complicated the concrete pour as the majority of the wiring containment needed to be cast into the structure. To achieve the accuracy needed ﬁrst time, Laing O’Rourke’s in-house M&E engineer, Crown House Technologies, digitally modelled the containment using GPS coordinates for all junction locations. Access to this M&E had to be through the ﬂoor, as all internal ceilings were unbroken concrete, which caused issues between designer and contractor. Herzog & de Meuron initially wanted solid oak ﬂooring throughout the building. An agreement was reached that in the ofﬁces, which are more susceptible to change, carpet tiles would be speciﬁed. However, the major primary services run below the corridors where oak ﬂooring was used, and this required access panels. “It would have been an absolute nightmare if there had been timber ﬂooring everywhere, due to all the services being under the ﬂoor – having carpets in the ofﬁces was the sensible thing to do,” says Laing O’Rourke’s Morris. “We originally estimated 600 access panels in the common areas. We got this down to 300, which the architect accepted.” The contractor tried to use DfMA elements wherever possible. Around the concrete frame the building is wrapped in a glazed double skin, with concrete sills and
lintels. These elements were manufactured offsite at Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Industrial Park in Steetley, Nottinghamshire. Modules for the major M&E equipment, including gas-ﬁred boilers, pump sets and multiservice risers, were also manufactured offsite at Crown House Technologies’ facility in Oldbury in the West Midlands. As Oxford University boasts 26 British prime ministers and at least 30 international leaders among its graduates, the school of government is well warranted. Many people, however, might have preferred the institution to bear the name of one of these, possibly Attlee or Peel – or Gandhi or Clinton, if the aim is to attract international students. But Oxford is by no means the only university to sell naming rights to its buildings: the Alliance Manchester Business School takes its name from
benefactor Lord Alliance, while Imperial College has the Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis, funded by a hedge fund set up by Alan Howard. And if you have millions of pounds to spare, Cambridge University’s website lists its central library as available as the “ultimate commemorative naming opportunity”. Blavatnik’s donation has allowed the university to commission one of the world’s best architects to design an extremely generous building. At £30m and 8,000 sq m, it’s also undoubtedly a lavish building for the school’s 120 students – as demonstrated by a quick comparison with the £70m, 16,200 sq m maths building that serves 900 students next door. But the budget has been put to good use, with Laing O’Rourke delivering a polished landmark that will certainly put the new school ﬁrmly on the international map. CM
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Maintains a comprehensive website Distributes a quarterly newsletter Holds educational events for patients, carers and health care professionals Delivers an accredited course in mesothelioma (in partnership with The Royal Marsden School). Campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos
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Continuing Professional Development Behavioural assessment in procurement • Assessments evaluate how bidding teams are likely to perform • Required behaviours can be split into components for objective testing • The process takes place within legal constraints
Assessing bid teams’ behavioural profiles
Key principles The Regulations are intended to provide a “level playing field” where all bidders are given equal treatment. Their guiding principles are transparency, objectivity
and engineering procurement to include an assessment of behavioural characteristics of key individuals within tendering teams. Behavioural assessment, which allows clients to vet potential contractors by asking them to demonstrate their approaches and attitudes in realistic test scenarios, such as a project delay, is most likely to be relevant in the context of complex projects which will rely heavily on collaborative behaviour. Behavioural assessment has, for example, been used in the context of large-scale alliance procurement in the utility sector, where success depends on good relationships over a prolonged period. The Environment Agency first used the technique 10 years ago, Highways England has used it in assessing bidders for a recent framework, and HS2 has stated its plans to make behavioural assessment “an important part of our tender evaluation to select successful suppliers” (see box, p38). While still relatively new to the sector, the technique is rapidly gaining traction as a way for clients on large, complex programmes to look beyond a bidder’s price and past experience, and to gauge whether a contractor’s behaviour and working style will be a good fit with the project team. By using both qualitative and quantitative techniques, the performance of the bid teams are measured in a series of baseline assessments which give a guide to how the bidder is likely to work in the real world, and how they would handle challenges and setbacks.
Legal constraints But clients incorporating behavioural assessment into the bid process need to operate within UK law and procedural disciplines on procurement of works and services. In public sector contracts, or where public finance is involved, these are by way of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. In the water, electricity, transport and telecommunications sectors, these take the form of the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 (which will replace the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2006 with effect from 18 April 2016). These items of secondary legislation respectively adopt the EU Utilities Directive 2014/25/EU and the EU Public Contracts Directive 2014/24/EU — commonly referred to as the “OJEU rules” — into UK law. The provisions in the legislation that are relevant to behavioural assessment are substantially consistent between these two sets of regulations (here referred to collectively as the “Regulations”). The legal requirements summarised below are drawn from the Regulations and are specific to public contracts and procurement by utilities. However, they reflect general good practice and potentially provide useful guidance for clients where the Regulations do not apply — for example, to the tendering of a major private sector project or framework contract outside the utilities sector.
THERE IS AN INCREASING TREND in construction
Behavioural assessment offers a way for clients to estimate how well bidding contractors will collaborate. But clients need to take a structured legal approach. Stella Mitchell of law firm BLP explains
and consistency. Where evaluation of bids includes an assessment of behaviours and matters of culture and approach — all of which give rise to subjective interpretation — it is particularly important that these are observed. At what point in a tender process should behavioural assessment be carried out? Under the Regulations, procurement falls broadly into two stages, namely: l Selection: an assessment of bidders’ capability and resource to perform the contract in question, based on experience,
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Continuing Professional Development Behavioural assessment in procurement
Behavioural assessment: top tips for bidders
l It is critical that invitation to tender documentation is read thoroughly, particularly where a tender process involves an element of behavioural assessment.
l If there is any doubt as to the precise purpose of a behavioural stage in an assessment process, the bidder should ask for this to be verified. Behavioural assessment must be linked to published evaluation criteria, which must in turn be associated with contract delivery. Bidders are therefore entitled to seek guidance on the precise purpose of behavioural tests.
RO US “It is a way for clients on large, complex programmes to gauge whether a contractor’s working style will be a good fit with the project team”
LE resource and track record, typically as a basis for shortlisting. l Evaluation: the consideration of how particular bidders will perform the intended contract, in order to determine the “most economically advantageous tender” for contract award. The distinction between “selection” and “award” criteria is important, because legal challenges have been brought on the grounds that a contracting authority has considered selection criteria at the evaluation (ie, award) stage of the public
procurement process. In other words selection criteria can only be used before the bidders are shortlisted and may not be repeated at the award stage. General issues of attitude and culture can be relevant to an organisation’s suitability for a particular project, but if these issues are addressed in a shortlisting exercise they should not be reassessed at evaluation stage. On the other hand, if the shortlisted bidders’ behaviours are to be assessed by way of simulation exercises, interviews
l It is important that all individuals assessed understand the purpose of each exercise and the rules relating to it. They should all be well drilled in the requirements of the intended contract and the impact of specific behaviours on contract outcomes, so that responses and attitudes are geared towards that. l Bidders should put forward for behavioural tests appropriate individuals who are likely to be involved in contract delivery following selection. Involving people focused on “sales” or business development roles is unlikely to produce high scores. l The use of behavioural assessment has the potential to be replicated with second and third-tier suppliers, driving culture on a wider scale through the entire supply chain. If a contractor’s ability to perform under a contract to maximum advantage depends on the culture of its subcontractors and suppliers it may be appropriate for an element of behavioural assessment to be used in its supply chain selection.
and questionnaires in the later stages of a procurement, then issues of corporate “culture” and attributes of individual personnel should not be examined at the initial selection stage. Evaluation criteria Behavioural assessment is most commonly carried out at evaluation stage. The Regulations require purchasers to disclose their evaluation criteria to bidders. Where these are broken down into sub-criteria, these must be disclosed as well. Behavioural assessment can therefore only be used as part of a bid evaluation process to test criteria that have been disclosed to bidders. > CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 37
Continuing Professional Development Behavioural assessment in procurement
> Evaluation criteria must in turn be clearly linked to contract terms and outputs. Behavioural assessment cannot be used to assess general issues of culture and behaviour unless these are clearly relevant to the contract. Tender documentation must be absolutely clear about what specific behaviours are to be exhibited to achieve successful contract delivery. Both the behavioural criteria being tested and the relative weight given to those scores must be linked and proportionate to their likely impact on contract performance. So, for example, a high weighting of 20/25% associated with behavioural criteria is unlikely to be appropriate unless a long-term collaborative relationship is vital to successful content delivery. In the context of a large-scale engineering procurement, styles of management and communication are relevant, but must also be weighed against factors such as technical offering and price. An alternative approach is to carry out behavioural assessment without allocating any specific score or weighting to this. Instead, the output of behavioural assessment tests is used simply to moderate information gained through other aspects of a procurement. Behavioural assessment can be aimed to test corporate culture and team approach, but will essentially involve an examination of individuals. Realistically, a team put forward at bid stage is unlikely to remain unchanged through the life of a project of significant duration. This imposes some caution on allocating an excessively high proportion of scoring to behavioural elements. If there is any possibility that individuals assessed as part of a behavioural exercise might be replaced before an appointment is made, then provisions need to be built into the process to ensure that other bidders are not disadvantaged by modifications within their competitors’ teams. The safest solution may be to re-run behavioural assessment for new team members if the timetable permits this. However, there should not be an opportunity for a bidder to improve its overall score by replacing personnel.
Early adopters include the UK Environment Agency and Highways England According to a recent edition of Turner & Townsend’s Insight briefings, UK government bodies are leading the way in adopting behavioural assessments in the procurement of construction projects and frameworks. One of the earliest adopters was the UK Environment Agency, which first used the technique during the procurement of a 10-year contract for the delivery of capital improvement projects in the Thames Estuary. Speaking to Insight, Peter Quarmby, programme director at the agency, explained: “Because of the long-term nature of the contract, we recognised that its success was likely to be heavily dependent on finding a partner whose organisational culture aligned with ours and whose key personnel could support the achievement of our objectives.” The Environment Agency felt it would obtain valuable insight – and increase the chances of finding the right partner – by integrating behavioural assessment into its tender process. In total, 25% of its award criteria were assigned to performance in the behavioural assessments. Another leading adopter is Highways England, which is currently delivering a £5bn programme of road upgrades (pictured below)
through its Collaborative Delivery Framework. Behavioural assessments accounted for more than a third of the selection criteria used in the framework’s procurement process. Highways England gauged not just bidders’ capability and case studies of their previous work, but also their ability to work effectively together. Tony Turton, Highways England’s project development and production director, told Insight: “We wanted to assess not just how well each contractor would work in isolation, but how the supply chain would gel as a whole. Over two days of exercises we assessed more than 180 people from 36 bidding organisations, mixing up the teams and testing their ability to collaborate with each other.” He added: “The technique was invaluable not just in helping us make the right hires, but also because it sent a strong message to the supply chain selected that we need them to come together and succeed as a team.” And it seems the HS2 client team is thinking along similar lines. It is appointing a consultant to provide behavioural assessment services while a spokesman last month told Construction Manager that it would be “an important part of our tender evaluation to select suppliers”.
Who should be assessed? The requirement to link evaluation criteria to contract outcomes and outputs should confine behavioural
Best behaviours: public bodies lead the way
38 | FEBRUARY 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
Continuing Professional Development Behavioural assessment in procurement
“Behavioural assessment cannot be used to assess general issues of culture and behaviour unless these are clearly relevant to the contract” assessment to the actions and aptitudes of individuals who will be responsible for contract delivery. Regulation 67(3) (b) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and Regulation 82(3)(b) of the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016 confirm that evaluation of bids may now include an assessment of “organisation, qualification and experience of staff assigned to perform the contract, where the quality of staff assigned can have a significant impact on the level of performance of the contract”. How clients can ensure objectivity To comply with the Regulations, it is important to ensure that each element of a behavioural assessment process is administered and scored in a manner which is objective and accountable and which treats all bidders equally. Required behaviours can usefully be split out into component parts so that they are easier to test objectively. For example, if it is appropriate to test a person’s likely behaviour in a team leadership context, that can be broken down to assess that person’s clarity of vision, their communication skills, their willingness to take responsibility for mistakes, their ability to delegate and the manner in which they handle criticism. More precise definitions
aid incisive and objective assessment and help bidders to understand what is required. To maximise objectivity it is useful to test each required characteristic several times, through different exercises. There should be multiple opportunities for assessing each individual, who should ideally be seen by different assessors in rotation and on several occasions, in order to provide the fairest opportunity to present a balanced picture of the team. It is important to be very clear that what is being assessed is a person’s specific behaviours, directly associated with the relevant project. Behavioural assessment must not be about making a judgement on an individual as a person. A purchaser’s evaluation team must constantly be on guard against making subjective judgements that are based on personal preference, whether conscious or otherwise. Ideally, the assessors should not all be drawn from the purchaser’s project team. It may be useful to involve people from other parts of the client organisation and external assessors. The idea is to maximise objectivity by scoring from alternative perspectives and different disciplines. Training or briefing for assessors is key to consistency. The assessors need a common understanding of what scores indicate and what “good” looks like. The scoring matrix must be clear and ideally transparent to bidders. Once the scores are recorded they need to be moderated objectively to make sure that any extremes are understood. Disciplines should be in place to ensure that moderation has no tendency towards verification or manipulation of results. It is essential to have a clear audit trail through the procurement process. This includes keeping a record of all scores, including all assessors’ notes and markings. CM Stella Mitchell is a partner in the engineering, construction and procurement team at Berwin Leighton Paisner This article is based on a presentation given as part of a seminar on 2 July 2015, which also featured MDV Consulting, Invennt and Turner & Townsend. Read more from Turner & Townsend in Vox Pop, p13.
CPD online. Your new home for learning.
CPD test paper
Behavioural assessment in procurement 1. When should selection criteria be used? l Before the bidders are shortlisted l Only at the award stage l Before shortlisting then again during the award stage l At any appropriate time during the process 2. What do the Regulations require purchasers to do about the evaluation criteria? l Disclose them to bidders l Clearly link them to contract terms and outputs l Make sure scoring is objective and accountable l All of the above 3. Which type of contract do the Regulations not cover? l A procurement contract within the public sector l A procurement contract within the utilities sector l A framework contract outside the utilities sector l None of the above 4. Which of the following organisations have adopted behavioural assessments in procurement? l Highways England l The Environment Agency l HS2 l All of the above 5. Which of the following is not part of the recommended procedure for assessors? l Ideally all the assessors should be drawn from the purchaser’s project team l For consistency, the assessors should have some form of training or briefing l A record of all scores should be taken to provide a clear audit trail, including all assessors’ notes and markings l Assessors need a common understanding of what scores indicate
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 39
Contact Contact THE CHARTERED INSTITUTE OF BUILDING MEMBERS’ NEWSLETTER ISSUE 139 FEBRUARY 2016
IN THIS ISSUE
41--45 ON THE RADAR
All the latest news and developments from the CIOB at HQ and in your area including the first Australian training partnership and achievement award honour
Neil Marshall on sharing ideas on BIM and how there is still not enough collaboration
47 ONE TO WATCH
Micheal Butcher from ISG and Novus East of England
48-49 IN GOOD COMPANY Residents set up home in the UK’s first eco-town
50 MEMBER BENEFITS
Take advantage of exclusive member offers
51 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Key events by region for the month ahead
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ON THE RADAR
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Annual funding programme backs new construction research with £50,000
The CIOB’s Bowen Jenkins Legacy Research Fund will award construction research projects with up to £10,000 each.
The CIOB launched the fund in 2015 and received more than 50 applications from 12 countries. These were whittled down to the six best ideas by more than 20 assessors from industry and academia. Each research project will last between 12 to 24 months.The six winning ideas tackle themes such as sustainability in the built environment, corporate social responsibility, the application of digital technologies and employment practices in construction. The Fund is a bequest from Mr Bowen Jenkins FCIOB who was an active supporter of the CIOB and in the 1950s he took over his father’s construction business in the Hampshire area of the UK. The Fund is one of the CIOB’s largest donated financial legacies and supports the funding of research projects in the built environment. Saleem Akram CIOB director said: “Improvements in performance happen when there is a healthy mix of knowledge and ambition to seek new ways of working. The industry can’t stand still and has to place a great deal of importance on those who have ideas and need support in developing them. But equally we must make sure that what is learned is also shared. Which is why construction management and CIOB membership is such an important network in an industry that needs to initiate real change.” THE SIX RESEARCH PROJECTS TO RECEIVE FUNDING ARE: ’From Corporate Social Responsibility to Occupational Health & Safety and Well-being of Construction Workers: the China Dilemma’ by Prof Dongping Fang MCIOB (Tsinghua University, China) and Dr Wilson Lu MCIOB (University of Hong Kong, China) ’Long-term Sustainability of Post-disaster Housing Reconstruction Projects’ by Dr Gayan Wedawatta MCIOB (Aston University, UK) and Dr Bingunath Ingirige (University of Salford, UK) ‘Cross-regional Study of Micro Construction Firms’ Health and Safety Practices’ by
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The first recipients of the Bowen Jenkins Legacy Research Fund have been announced
Dr Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo (University of Brighton, UK) and Dr Ani Raiden (Nottingham Trent University, UK) ‘Providing Appropriate Facilities in Not-for-profit Retirement Villages’ by Dr Bo Xia (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Mr Xin Hu (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) ‘Data-assisted Decision Framework for London Underground Modernisation Programmes Using BIM’ by Dr Chen-Yu Chang (University College London, UK)
‘Breaking Down Barriers – Embedding Inclusion into Undergraduate Built Environment Programmes’ by Dr Geoffrey Cook FCIOB (University of Reading, UK) and Mrs Christina Duckett (University of Reading, UK) Applications for the Bowen Jenkins Legacy Research Fund 2016 will open in March 2016. Details can be found at www.ciob.org/ scholarships/bowen-jenkins-legacy-research-fund.
ON THE RADAR
Contact | Feb 16
Professionalism fillip down under as Australian construction firm becomes first CIOB training partner The CIOB agrees first training partnership in Australia
Perth-based Monford Group has become the first Australian construction company to commit towards a fully Chartered workforce by entering into a Training Partnership with the CIOB. Through the partnership Monford will gain access to bespoke training, learning plans and ongoing developmental opportunities that will give it an edge in a construction market set to grow by 1.6% each year until 2030. The agreement will see Monford employees benefit from international recognition gained through Chartered membership. Declan White, managing director at Monford Group said: “We are delighted to be the first organisation to establish a training partnership
with the CIOB in Australia. Given the steady growth forecast in the Australian construction market over the course of the next decade, we remain committed to increasing the capability of our workforce and embedding a culture of professionalism into every aspect of our work. We are delighted to partner with the CIOB who share our commitment to upholding the highest standards in construction and embed the core values of integrity, honesty and leadership in their training portfolio.” With over 150 members of staff, Monford operates across the infrastructure and resources sectors. The Group has provided construction services on mine sites, gas plants, power plants and pipelines. Current projects include the development of the Stadium Rail Alliance project
and Wheatstone Village on the western coast. Commenting on the announcement, Bridget Bartlett, deputy chief executive of the CIOB said: “Australia is a demanding environment to work in and recognise the need to look at ways in which contractors can differentiate themselves and enhance the service they offer to clients. Bartlett added; “Professionalism is imperative to developing strong relationships across the construction industry – whether at home, or abroad. Our work with Monford signals the quality of the CIOB’s training partnerships.” Further information about the CIOB’s Training Partnerships programme can be found at www.ciob.org/company-membership/ training-partnerships.
DUNDEE TO SHOW CAREERS PROFESSIONALS WHAT CONSTRUCTION HAS TO OFFER
Discovery Dundee will host education/careers event
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Scotland is hosting another Careers in Construction Event. Taking place at Discovery Dundee this unusual venue will target teachers and careers advisors to advise the opportunities for careers within the
built environment. There will be four speakers including Paul Nash CIOB Vice President, all from a mix of construction disciplines as well as Class of Your Own School pupils. The event will be filmed to produce a
resource for schools. Too often construction is seen in terms of building, joinery, plumbing. This event aims to show how cnstruction encompasses a vast range of disciplines from planning and design,
architecture, restoration, project management, surveying, engineering and environmental studies. The event takes place on 9 March. For more details contact email@example.com
HAVE WE GOT YOUR CONTACT DETAILS CORRECT?
• If you have moved or changed any of your details recently, don’t forget to tell
us. You can update your details online – simply log in to “members area” of the website www.ciob.org. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our membership customer services team on +44 (0) 1344 630706 for further help. If you would rather post your details send them to: The Chartered Institute of Building, 1 Arlington Square, Downshire Way, Bracknell RG12 1WA, UK
NEW MEMBERS & FELLOWS On the 23rd November 2015 two Recognition of Achievement Award ceremonies were held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London. CIOB Past President Peter Jacobs PPCIOB and CIOB Chief Executive Chris Blythe presented certificates to 27 newly appointed Fellows, 110 Members, 3 NOVUS students and 1 Chartered Building Company/Training Partnership. MORNING RECIPIENTS WERE: Newly appointed Fellows: Paul Aubrey, Andrew Boyle, Christopher Burden, Peter Butler, Adrian Clamp, Gwyn Davies, Nochum Dewhurst, Ronald Dower, Jeremy Eavis, Wasim Iqbal, Kyprianos Kyprianou, Thomas MacCarron and Alan Williamson. Newly appointed Members: Mark Astbury, David Bedward, Mustapha Belhaj, Anthony Bellamy, David Black, Nicholas Butler, Robert Cant, Paul Cassidy, Thomas Clarke, Matthew Colbran, Richard Davies, Graham Dodd, Martin Georgeson, David Gilbert, John Gleeson, Christopher Grenfell, Christopher Hawes, Paul Hayman, Timothy Hodgson, Graham Hooley, Mark Horton, Paul Johnson, Dene Jones, Paul Judge, Lee Kirkman, Glen Lewis, Philip Longdin, Mark Lusher, Martin McCabe, John Mannion, Abdullah Mohsin, Steven Neil, Colin Newall, Thomas O’Donoghue, Dickson Pang, Ken Payne, Nelson Pereira, William Pitt, Christopher Plenty, Ali Rehman, Jamie Ross, Ehab Shallaby, Dillon Siva, Stuart Summerhill, Luke Trussler, William Turville, Kevin Urquhart, Patrick Walsh, Matthew Whitehouse, John Wilson, James Wood and Owen Worwood. AFTERNOON RECIPIENTS WERE: Newly appointed Fellows: Richard Breen, Susan Brown, Dene Carvell, Dave Clarke, Philip Eley, Jack Goulding, Neil Hennessey, Paul Millson, Jason Mount, Dawn Parias, Darren Rackett, Wayne Roberts,
Michael Smith, and Christopher Symeonides. Newly appointed Members: Rizath Abdul Razack, Adrian Adams, Zabit Baja, Jon Behan, Michael Bell, Sartbjit Benning, Christopher Bloore, Peter Bosompem, Robert Boyd, Lee Branchett, Alan Burch, Robert Camilleri, Lee Daniel, Damien Dillon, Neal Dixon, Joseph Edwards, Yiannakis Eleftheriou, David Finn, Aidan Franks, Fergus Gleeson, David Goodheart, Fiona Green, Anthony Gushman, Julian Hawkins, Paul Hazelgrave, Mark Hill, Paul Hirst, Emily Hoggins, Philip Hosier, Raymond Hutchinson, Gareth Jacques, Jayne Jenkins, Thomas Kelly, Richard Kemp, Titilola Kosoko, Anthony Lawer, Gary Lewis, Stephen Locke, Lu Shu-Ling, Alasdair McCormick, Ken Minta, Karl Muhs, Laura Olisa, Andrew Pemberton, Christian Pinnigar, Kouron PowellNateghy, Paul Robinson, Christopher Smith, Jason Smith, Steven Stavrou, Noel Talbot, Christopher Tew, Neil Thompson, Wilson Ukereghe, Richard Varvel, Kevin Wheeler, Paul White, Paul Young, Nini Yu. NOVUS students: Joe Craven, Andrew Kay ICIOB, Erion Thaci. New Chartered Building Company/Training Partnership representatives: Robert Camilleri, Paul Camilleri and Andrew Pemberton of Camilleri Construction Ltd.
CIOB pledges to “pull along” BIM at industry event
The CIOB was represented at a recent BIM4FM breakfast workshop where the question posed was “BIM Level 2 – Ready, Willing and Able?” Speakers comprised David Churcher, lead author of PAS 1192-3, Steve Owen, senior FM consultant, and May Winfield, senior associate, Kennedys and vice chair of the Events Working Group for London CIOB who has been recognised for her research particular to the applications of BIM. Leading institutes, trade associations and professional bodies representing the built environment form the BIM4FM group, supported by the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit. BIM4FM’s aim is to champion FM involvement with BIM projects; to ensure industry works together to support and educate facilities managers, owners and occupiers; and to develop stronger relationships with members of the supply chain. Speakers were joined by Christine Gausden RD FCIOB, University of Greenwich lecturer, for a question and answer discussion with the audience; Christine is a CIOB Trustee, and London Committee member who has been active as an FM practitioner for a number of key client bodies Etienne Le Roux, Novus vice chair, and
Rachel Mayes, student member, assisted at the event which was hosted by Kennedys. Participants in the workshop concluded whilst facilities managers are willing and potentially able, the majority were not yet ready to deliver in accordance with the Government 2016 mandate Eddie Tuttle, CIOB public affairs and policy mManager, was an enthusiastic participant, stating “…. it’s about making it happen in reality, joining up the associations, institutes, stakeholders and the policy. It’s getting clients to ask for it and to know what they are asking for”. He added “The CIOB is keen to play a role in pulling the BIM4 community along in terms of getting that engagement working in practice.”
May Winfield presenting at the BIM4FM event
OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION SET FOR GROWTH, SAY EXPERTS AT IRISH EVENT
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how modern buildings are being constructed under controlled factory conditions then brought to sites for final assembly. With forecasts on the expected changes facing the construction industry
all pointing to the need for faster and more efficient delivery, offsite construction is becoming increasingly recognised as a way for that to be achieved. Attendees at the event included construction
professionals, lecturers and a built environment students from South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Lisburn campus. For more about McAvoy Group see www.mcavoygroup.com
Offsite construction methods set to grow
Offsite construction firm, McAvoy Group, recently hosted a CPD event at its Lisburn Factory. The event included a presentation by David Clark, design manager on the advantages of offsite construction:
ON THE RADAR
Contact | Feb 16
east of england
news in brief
Valentine’s day: award for institute stalwart
The CIOB’s Shaun Valentine has received a Recognition of Achievement Award. This honour is given to a member that has made a major contribution to the development of the Institute at Branch or Centre level, to the extent that their contribution is recognised by their colleagues. The East of England Branch nominated Shaun Valentine for this award and this was presented to him by the CIOB President Chris Chivers at a branch committee dinner. “There are many members of the CIOB who give their time freely to support our institution, but very few who consistently demonstrate the generous and whole hearted dedication that typify Shaun’s total commitment to the betterment of the Institution and the promotion of the CIOB ideals and governance,” said Chivers. Valentine joined the CIOB 25 years ago. He has held many positions from chair and honorary secretary of Essex Centre to chair of the East of England branch, Members Forum representative and Trustee. Valentine’s rise through the echelons of the CIOB has been relentless and colleagues report that he has improved the performance of those around him through his unique personal combination of good humour, determination and guile.
Shaun Valentine (right) receiving his achievement award from Chris Chivers
Valentine has championed the CIOB at many universities and most recently has encouraged his employer, Countryside, to support efforts to promote construction as a career option to students. He has been involved with an Essex Schools event and followed this up with opening his site to the students. He is passionate about both the CIOB, and the industry, and this comes across when he is talking with students. Valentine started his career as a joiner and is now a construction director. He tells anyone who will listen that the CIOB has made this journey possible. He has mentored many current members, including Jason Margetts (Trustee) and Salvatore Capotosto (Novus
> INTERSERVE SITE MANAGER SUCCESS
Chairman). He was a lecturer when Capotosto was a degree student. “Shaun was, and still is, an example for younger professionals and his passion and dedication to the industry and the CIOB, is one of the main reasons of my current involvement with the CIOB,” says Capotosto. “He introduced me to the CIOB and thanks to him I decided to join the CIOB student challenge which opened unlimited opportunities for my professional development and my future work with Novus. Shaun is a great example of a perfect CIOB member and a true inspiration for everybody.” Jason Margetts CIOB Trustee also sings his praises.” I met Shaun as the lecturer on my site management diploma course. Shaun speaks my language and used his experience and knowledge to identify a practical element to every aspect of the course. “Shaun was also my first introduction to the CIOB, after nominating me for a Hertfordshire student award. He continued to inspire me from my entry to the student challenge to CIOB branch/ Novus committee member and now as a Trustee. Shaun’s greatest achievement is one he is unaware of: the ability to inspire others to follow his lead and guidance in trying to help develop a better construction industry and selflessly promote younger people throughout their career in the construction industry.”
Ten site managers from Interserve Construction in the West Midlands were honoured at a dinner on 25 November for completing their CIOB Site Manager level 4 qualifications. The dinner was held at the Ramada hotel in Sutton Coldfield. Ruth Kennedy-Green the West Midlands Branch Manager represented CIOB and presented the newly-qualified managers with a CIOB goodie bag and their certificates. They started the course in March and completed in November and also completed their NVQ Level 6 at the same time. They will now go on to join as Applicants and start their professional Review process. Course director Robert Bilbrough said everyone had worked very hard and he was delighted with their success.
IRELAND AWARDS GRADUATES AND CIOB SCHOLAR
Award Winners: Glenn Tennyson, Paul Davis, Ewa Strzalka, Martin Taggart FCIOB (lecturer).
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The close ties between the CIOB in Ireland Western Centre and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology were evident at the recent GMIT Graduation. Four graduates were presented with CIOB awards: Glenn
Tennyson, Best Student, Construction Management (Ordinary Degree); Paul Davis, Best Student, Construction Management (Honours Degree); and John McCormack, Best Final Year Construction
Management Dissertation. John McCormack was absent as he is now working as a construction manager in the US. The students received a special CIOB medal and certificate. Ewa Strzalka, From the
Architectural Technology (Ordinary) Degree programme, was the 2015 recipient of the CIOB Queen Elizabeth II scholarship. Ewa will use the bursary to study for an additional year, to gain her honours degree.
The Global Student Challenge is now open for entries. Register teams before 29 February. The games begin in March with finalists heading to Hong Kong for a showdown in July. Visit gsc.ciob.org.
news in brief
Logistics need a rethink, says CIOB past president
As construction activity increases, the skills shortage takes affect and city centres become more congested, the construction industry will have to look at how it may improve productivity. This was the message from Peter Jacobs, past president and MD of Wilson James’ Construction Logistics, to CIOB members in Essex in a presentation on how the use of consolidation centres can improve construction output and programme certainty. One suggestion Jacobs made, is that the industry looks again at the supply chain and in particular the way it delivers material to site. Site logistics have improved on many sites in the past 10 years, with many industries adopting ‘just in time’ product delivery techniques, but, in general, construction has not followed suit. Developed by the Japanese car industry in the 1950s and then refined with improvements in technology, Just in Time has been used by manufacturing, retail and a whole host of other organisations including the Armed Forces and Humanitarian Aid, to improve efficiency, reduce their carbon foot print and create better margin. Wilson James is Heathrow’s logistics integrator, providing consolidation advice and services to a variety of projects and organisations in the construction industry.
Adopting a ‘just in time’ approach and using consolidation centres could improve logistics issues
Jacob’s presentation demonstrated how a consolidation centre could create improvement in the delivery of the right materials, right place, right time from 40% accuracy to 98%. The presentation also outlined how reduction in vehicles to site could be dramatically reduced by as much as 60% by consolidation loads and using the empty trucks to remove recyclable waste from site on return journeys. Whilst acknowledging the industry has built many great structures successfully, Peter went on to explain the demands from clients are on the increase. In both the public and private sector, clients are concerned with their reputation, their brand and their responsibility not just to
shareholders, but also to the wider community. There is a hard headed approach to commercials too; it has been often said that construction in the UK is more expensive. It was argued that if the process is started early enough and that procurement is informed by, and in conjunction with, a logistics plan designed with experts in consolidation, it could produce a 5% cost saving. Peter was joined by Gary Sullivan OBE executive chairman and joint founder of Wilson James. Gary is an acknowledged expert in construction and military logistics. Jacobs concluded that CIOB members manage the process of construction and advanced logistics must become an integral part of their professional expertise.
> WEST MIDLANDS CAREERS BOOST
CIOB West Midlands held two events in one in Birmingham recently at the Fazeley Studios. Nigel Dunand from Sandler Training challenged the room to think about their career planning and networking skills by giving a talk to the newest Chartered Members of the West Midlands CIOB on career progression, mentoring, Linked In and networking. The West Midlands Board then introduced themselves to the attendees explaining how the CIOB had help to drive their careers. Afterwards Welcome Packs, in CIOB leather folders, were presented by the WM chair Mark Ramessa to the people who had recently passed their Professional Review. Networking over refreshments completed a successful evening.
SOUTH EAST SETS DATE FOR 25TH ANNUAL STUDENT CHALLENGE
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prestigious guests will attend to celebrate this milestone and surprises are in store for the students. The event is run in a ‘University Challenge’ style format and involves 12–16 teams of students
from construction-related courses from around the region competing in lively and interactive heats, followed by a fiercely fought final. Sponsorship opportunities are available: main sponsor at
£700 (+VAT) or a general sponsor for £350 (+VAT). For more information about the event or details of sponsorship opportunities please email: SEStudent Challenge@ciob.org.uk.
Chessington Safari Hotel, the setting for this year’s Student Challenge
The South East branch of the CIOB is holding its annual Student Challenge Competition on 9 March at the Chessington Safari Hotel. It will be the 25th Anniversary of this popular event and
Back to the future
Neil Marshall looks back at the origins of BIM and moving forward, calls for a willingness to share knowledge
have hoarding tendencies which have resulted in me keeping some really old copies of construction IT-related magazines and on a recent clear-out the old issues reminded me of what we were doing then and the content took me by surprise. Seventeen years ago we were talking about data and how FM could benefit from models. We clearly had the technology back then, which is now developed and more accessible, but back then the groundbreakers were exploring the use of this with a vision of the future. There are great examples of models and how these models were being used to
“People love a good idea so keep sharing them. You don’t have to relinquish all of your intellectual property or the hard work you have invested. Just plant the seed.” analyse the building performance, provide information for handover, give people better access to information. Sound familiar? Data and 3D models are not new! The desire was strong then and those leaders, the early adopters, pushed the boundaries and we are grateful to them for opening up the possibilities. What strikes me however, from these articles is the message equally prevalent then as it is today. It was the conversation
of: we must educate, collaborate, cooperate. We are still saying that today. I don’t want to sound like a broken record I don’t want to repeat the same things that are regurgitated at the conferences. Yes progress has been made and we are continuing to make progress. I am an optimist and it is this optimism I want to share.
Share and share alike The efficiencies are there to be harnessed. Every working day I see people pushing the agenda and making incremental improvements and that’s all we have to do. A big task is a small task when it’s split up. People love a good idea so keep sharing them. You don’t have to relinquish all of your intellectual property or the hard work you have invested – just plant that seed and watch it grow. Let’s remember though that the output of our industry ultimately is the built environment. It’s this at our heart, it’s this that gets me excited. Better building is good. Let’s use the tools that are now readily available to improve our built environment for the building user and owners. We can do this, the information and accessibility to that information allows us to make better decisions. Let’s ensure we share what we can and give people the opportunity to make better decisions. The articles in the old magazines talk about a collaborative approach to CAD systems, templates and compatibility. We have come a long way but progress
still needs to be made and we need the evangelists to keep this relevant. What I do think can be overlooked and is not mentioned enough is the willingness to collaborate, co-operate and share and this is the area we need to work on. We need more willing people who will enter the process with eyes wide open and I hope in a small amount somewhere my willingness and enthusiasm infects the few I come into contact with and we make the incremental steps bigger each time. I know the millennial generation is entering the industry and will bring this along but we have many steady old hands that we need to retrain and upskill to ensure all of the knowledge is passed down. Let’s open their minds and make them willing. With the April deadline looming and the news of the stretch target for validation I am looking forward immensely to next year and extremely excited to be part of the construction industry at this time. If someone does arrive from the future they will be happy we are pushing digital construction for all its worth and working willingly together.
Neil Marshall MCIOB is an architectural technologist and information manager, passionate about BIM. Current projects include Imperial College London, Birmingham City University and Kings Cross Redevelopment.
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ONETOWATCH Micheal Butcher MCIOB
Senior construction manager, Southern Construction ISG. Treasurer Novus East of England
Micheal has recently been appointed treasurer for Novus East of England. He regularly works with Colchester Institute promoting the CIOB, having studied there himself where he received the CIOB QEII scholarship a few years ago.
Q Why did you choose a career in construction? Straight after I completed my A-Levels in 2006, I got a job with a ‘land and measured building surveying’ company
Q What would you have done otherwise? During school, all possible career paths pointed to ICT or accountancy and I am so glad that I managed to
avoid them. The construction industry brings an experience that very few other sectors can provide. The industry is made up of such a diverse group of people, culturally, academically and with broad levels of experience and every single one of them has a lesson to teach. I learned very early on that the knowledge is out there if you are just prepared to ask and listen. And one of the greatest draws to the construction industry is the feeling of creating something; of leaving a legacy to a customer and a community that brings the project management team great satisfaction and recognition. I don’t think that I would have ever got that same feeling from ICT or accounting. Q What has been your toughest challenge? This industry is full of challenges and breeds a workforce of problem solvers. It is that requirement to continually think on your feet and realign your course that keeps us all interested. One of my toughest and most interesting challenges so far, has been the delivery of the technical and performance spaces within an 1196 seat theatre, including the main auditorium, stage, ﬂy tower, technical bridges, mechanically operated orchestra pit and rehearsal space. The level of finishes were very high, access was very complicated due to large open spaces and huge birdcage scaffolds impacting on lowlevel works, along with the technical, mechanical and electrical complications associated with such a bespoke space. It really was a challenge and a learning curve but represents the project I am most proud to have worked on to date..
Q What’s your most embarrassing work moment? On a large scale residential scheme a couple of years ago, I was chairing a progress meeting with a key facade subcontractor and spent 30 minutes comparing their progress against an old programme revision. They took great joy in pointing out my mistake, especially since the later programme painted them in a much better light. Q What are your career ambitions? I am very open about these. I am working to hold a project director position with the business within 10 years, increasing my level of responsibility, project value and the size of teams that I lead from year to year, project to project. Equally as important as my professional ambitions is the desire to leave behind a really positive perception for our customers, consistently delivering projects that meet their needs and achieve our company vision and values at all times. Q What do you do for fun/ relaxation? I used to be a really keen golfer but this has slipped away over the past few years. I am driven by personal challenge and achieving goals and milestones so I always have a small involvement in one sport or another when I find time. I am currently getting quite into cycling and planning to take part in Ride London this year, but my main goal is to complete a triathlon within the next three years.
Connect with Micheal at LinkedIn.com CIOB MEMBERS
Q Tell us a brief bit about your education and career so far I was lucky enough to have spent my primary, secondary and sixth form education at Claydon Village school, near home in Suffolk. I had some great teachers, who inspired my early interest in mathematics, geography, resistant materials and the sciences. As I approached the final year of sixth form, I started to realise that I had become disillusioned and certainly wasn’t interested in taking my education any further than A Levels. University became an unappealing option for me, despite the encouragement from teachers. When I told the school careers advisor that I would not go to university, but instead wanted to go to college to train in carpentry, she suggested that I applied for university positions to study surveying in the construction industry. With time running out and a real lack of clarity, I applied to three different universities to study three different types of surveying; land, quantity and building, but still didn’t really understand what any of them were. I got all three of my places but chose to take a break from education and get straight into work.
in Ipswich as a surveyor’s assistant. I never wanted to be stuck in an office job and the surveying role got me outside. We travelled all around the country and it truly challenged my brain. Every day was different. I was being trained in the use of professional equipment and software and was well-paid for my age. I loved my time there and learned a great deal, but it could never be a long term role for me. I realised that the career progression in that business was restricted and I knew that I could achieve much more. I applied for a management trainee role at a local construction company, (now ISG,) and was successful. I have had the benefit of an exceptional level of training and site-based experience, including the opportunity to achieve a 1:1 in a fully supported part-time Bachelor of Science degree course and to work with some incredible professionals on many successful and prestigious projects. It is still the excitement and variety of construction that draws me out of bed on the dark, cold winter mornings, eager to get to site and see what challenges the day will bring. Management positions within the construction industry pose unique, challenging opportunities for individuals and allow high levels of responsibility within complex and rewarding environments. These opportunities are unrivalled by any other career that I could have found myself working in. I really could never imagine myself doing anything else.
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Cherwell District Council
The first phase of the UK’s first eco-town is completed. Built to exacting environmental standards, the town aims to also promote sustainable living.
he first residents of the UK’s first eco-town are set to move in. The development of North West Bicester has been in planning for many years. It’s part of the Masterplan to make Bicester the UK’s first eco-town with sustainable homes, jobs and green neighbourhoods. Building in planned phases, the plan is to develop eco-friendly neighbourhoods with up to 6,000 individual homes. The first phase – Elmsbrook – began construction in 2014. It comprises 393 homes, 119 of which will be affordable. It includes a primary school and a village centre with grocery store, eco pub, café, eco business centre, shops, a community hall, nursery, play areas and a substantial wildlife corridor. The lead contractor is Willmott Dixon with housing developer A2 Dominion. A2Dominion works in partnership with Cherwell District Council and has appointed a number of expert consultants to deliver this ground-breaking scheme. Willmott Dixon has a £27m contract to build the first 94 of the planned 393 true zero carbon homes, which has already been awarded BioRegional’s One Planet Living status, making it just one of nine developments in the world to achieve this coveted mark of progress in sustainability. NW Bicester aims to be a glimpse into the future of new residential developments that make minimal impact on the environment and promote
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sustainable lifestyles. This starts at the construction stage with zero waste going to landfill, using techniques and a supply chain that saw Willmott Dixon already achieve 95% waste division across all sites in 2013.
economy. “We use local companies and construction materials whenever possible to support jobs and growth in the Bicester area. The local spend issue is important for us with NW Bicester providing important inward investment for the region. We’re aiming for a minimum of 20% labour from within a 20 miles radius to ensure we help sustain jobs and create many new ones.”
Energy benchmarks Further features that Willmott Dixon will deliver include achieving Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, supported by PV solar panels on every home (covering an average area of 34m2 per property), making it the UK’s largest residential solar array and capable of generating power to supply 550 homes. Charlie Scherer, chief operating officer for Willmott Dixon’s housing company says, “We’ve shown from building projects such as the UK’s largest Passivhaus residential project and the world’s first PEFC-certified scheme that we work successfully with our partners to deliver homes that point towards a highly sustainable future for our new housing. “NW Bicester is an ambitious project that provides a unique opportunity to set new environmental standards that will become the benchmark for other projects.” NW Bicester continues to adhere to the strict Planning Policy Statements (PPS1) originally set out by the Government for the delivery of eco towns. Steve Hornblow from A2 Dominion says it was also important to bolster the local
Sustainable lifestyles Clockwise from top: NW Bicester aims to reduce car useage and foster community spirit; Architect, Farrells drawing of sustainable house; solar panelling usage is among largest in UK; strong emphasis is placed on green space; aerial views of construction; and (above) completed first phase homes.
Each of the 393 true zero carbon homes, built with zero waste to landfill during construction, will be developed responsibly with a 30% reduction in carbon used compared with a typical build process. A mechanism for harvesting rainwater will come as standard, and has been designed to reduce water use to 80 litres per person, per day. The development includes one of the largest assemblies of solar panels in the UK, amounting to 17,500 square meters arranged across the roofs of the homes, which will contribute towards reducing the energy bill of each Elmsbrook property. Real time energy use and costs, and real-time bus travel updates will be displayed in every home via a tablet home information system. Known as the Shimmy, it will act as a communication portal for the community. The wider NW Bicester project will encompass up to 6,000 highly energy efficient new homes in total, with over
“NW Bicester aims to be a glimpse into the future of residential developments that make minimal impact on the environment and promote sustainable lifestyles” 18/01/2016 12:57
• One of only nine project’s worldwide given BioRegional’s One Planet Living status • All 94 zero carbon homes built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 • The UK’s largest residential solar array • Zero waste to landfill during construction • Minimum of 20% labour drawn from within a 20 miles radius. • 40% public and private green space throughout • Real time energy and travel monitoring in every home
40% of land allocated to green space, and with a network of sustainable wildlife corridors running through them. Elmsbrook residents will also enjoy a communal orchard, fruit bearing plants, herb boxes in the streets, allotments and children’s play areas. A fruit tree will be planted in the garden of every home. To reduce car use, each property will be located within 400m of a bus stop, and the bus service will be in operation from the arrival of the first residents to encourage sustainable travel from the outset. A network of cycle paths will connect Elmsbrook residents internally, across the wider NW Bicester development and provide connectivity to
the Town. Elmsbrook will include an electric car club which, along with a new designated bus service, has been created to encourage energy efficient modes of travel. Each home has the capacity to install an electric car charging point. Bioregional recently published a review of progress for NW Bicester’s first phase, examining how the project has performed against the targets and aspirations set out in the One Planet Action Plan. You can download it from its website. More phases of the masterplan are expected to be completed by 2018.
www.bioregional.com nwbicester.co.uk Case study 49
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HS2 – The Impact in the East Midlands 24 February, 8am, Derbyshire Contact: jnewton@ciob. org.uk EPDs: What you should know 25 February, 6pm, Newark Contact: jnewton@ciob. org.uk Construction Skills for the future 2 March 8am, Leicestershire Contact: jnewton@ciob. org.uk
Eastern Centre Committee Meeting 9 February, Dublin Contact: mcoleman@ciob. org.uk Ireland Branch Annual Dinner 19 February, Belfast Contact: mcoleman@ciob. org.uk
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Legal Update – Recent Construction Cases Exposed 4 February, Irish World Heritage Centre, Manchester Contact: bbrown@ciob. org.uk NW Novus: How Social Media Works for You 17 February, University of Salford, Old Fire Station Contact: bbrown@ciob. org.uk
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CDM Regulations 2 February, 6.30pm, The Village Hotel, Swansea, Langdon Road, Speaker: Steven Ash, Gravan Construction Cost: FOC CIOB Members & All students £5 Non members Soft skills Talk with Andy McCann 25 February, 6.30pm Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff Metroplitan University, Cardiff, Cost: £15 + VAT Contact: vcoxon@ciob. rog.uk
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Creating a Successful Team Soft Skills Event 9 February, 6pm, Coventry University Conctact: gfloyd@ciob. org.uk Building Regulations 2016 Update 3 March, 6pm, Hotel Ibis Styles, Birmingham Airport NEC Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. uk
Asta from the beginning 2 February, 6.30pm, Hampshire Contact: blawrence@ciob. org.uk Thermal and Acoustic Insulation 3 February, 6pm, Hilton St Anne’s Manor, Wokingham Contact: joparker@ciob. org.uk BIM in practice 11 February, 6.30pm, University of Brighton Contact: blawrence@coib. org.uk
Leeds & West Yorkshire Centre Committee meeting 2 February, 6pm, Contact: email@example.com Novus Yorkshire BIM Event Date tbc, 6pm, Bradford College, Leeds Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Building Regs Update Date tbc, breakfast seminar, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus Contact: email@example.com Student/Novus Quiz 18 February, 6pm, O’Neills, Leeds Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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WELSH SLATE LAUNCHES AGGREGATES GUIDE A brochure on its aggregates portfolio has been published by Welsh Slate. A guide to the material’s use as an aggregate has been launched by Welsh Slate, the UK’s leading supplier of natural slate for a peerless range of exterior and interior design applications. The guide gives a snapshot of Welsh slate’s features and benefits as an aggregate, specifically for civil engineering, house building, the water industry, and precast and ready-mixed concrete. As a construction aggregate, Welsh slate can be used as a granular sub-base for road building, car parks, footpaths and driveways due to its excellent load bearing qualities. It can also be used as pipe bedding, washed sand for use in precast and ready-mixed concrete, slate sand (as a base for laying block paving), capping layers or crusher runs in road building, and as dug/fill, for filling large voids. The aggregates guide is available for download from http://www.welshslate.com/downloads/?area= aggregates&type=product-brochures.
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | FEBRUARY 2016 | 53
Project of the month St James School Ashford, Kent
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Main picture, top: The unbroken exterior is clad in black vertical weatherboard Above: The frame uses pegged mortise and tenon joints
CROYDON-BASED CONTRACTOR STP Solutions has completed a £360,000 timber-framed Design Technology block for a private school in Ashford, Kent. Architect Squire & Partners designed the teaching block to occupy an area within the St James Senior Boys’ School grounds that was previously home to an ad hoc collection of sheds and storage units. The 175 sq m building houses a workshop for 20 students and two teaching staff, as well as an office, plant and store room. Internally the block has an exposed timber frame, supplied by Carpenter Oak & Woodland, that takes inspiration from the craftsmanship and simple technology of timber-framed buildings in the south east of England. The frame has been constructed using traditional methods, with pegged mortise and tenon joints. These traditional elements are counterpoised by steel hex-head fixings and the sheets of birch-faced ply panels that line the walls.
Right: The exposed timber frame has been built using traditional methods
In contrast to the traditional interior, the building’s envelope is starkly modern. It is clad in a black vertical weatherboard and cover strip system, within which a concealed gutter and flush pyramidal rooflight has been placed to create an unbroken building form.
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According to the architect, exposing the timber structure and employing traditional construction methods were an important part of the project, as this approach clearly displays to the students the beauty, longevity and practicality of timber as a building material. CM
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54 | FEBRUARY 2016 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER
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